Penguins Kris Letang returns to practice 10 days after stroke

Ten days after suffering a stroke, Penguins guard Kris Letang returned to practice on Thursday.

Letang, who is out indefinitely, said he felt great after taking the ice at the Penguins’ practice facility, but admitted the experience was “scary.”

“My kids, they don’t care if I’m a hockey player or not,” Letang told reporters. “They care about having a father. Same with my wife. He could care less about hockey. He knows there is more. There is a long time after hockey, and you want to enjoy those moments with your family and children.”

Officially, it’s day to day after he suffered a second stroke on November 28. He missed more than two months after his first stroke in 2014 due to a small hole in the wall of his heart.

Team physician Dr Dharmesh Vyas described Letang’s latest stroke as “smaller” than the one he had eight years ago, with symptoms disappearing more quickly this time.

Letang started skating two days after the stroke and was cleared to return to practice on Thursday, but he and Vyas said he was in no rush to play.

“We don’t think it was expedited in any way,” Vyas said. “We’re taking every step to make sure it’s safe to go out and play, and when that time comes, we’ll allow him to return to playing sports.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said it was a “relief” to have Letang return to practice and called it a “great visual.”

“Our medical team, who have been following him very closely, feel comfortable with the progress he is making and the steps he is taking.” Everyone was excited about him joining the group,” Sullivan told reporters.

Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks on during the first round game against the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Center on November 19, 2022 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  (Photo by Jonathan Kozub / NHLI via Getty Images)
Kris Letang is out indefinitely after suffering a second stroke.
NHLI via Getty Images

Letang signed a six-year, $36.6 million contract this summer that will make him 41 years old if he continues to play.

The Penguins are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and will play the Sabers in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

– with AP


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