Via Larry Brooks, the Rangers are holding Marc Staal out of scrimmages because of lingering post-concussion symptoms from that hit he took from his brother Eric back in late February. Doctors have cleared Staal for contact, but the team is being cautious after the symptoms resurfaced over the summer. John Tortorella will address the situation later today, but Brooks says the club’s top defenseman is expected to be held out of all three North American exhibition games.
I’ll update the post if any more info becomes available, but obviously this is pretty serious. Brain injuries are no joke, regardless of how important the player is to the team.
Update: Torts confirmed that Staal will not play in any of the first three exhibition games, but doctors have indeed cleared him for contact. Staal was diagnosed with a concussion after the hit, then returned to the lineup after passing a baseline test. He started experiencing headaches over the summer, and then passed another recent baseline test. Tortorella says Staal is progressing “very nicely,” they’re just being very cautious.
In other news, Brandon Prust will also be held out of the team’s first three exhibition games after having offseason shoulder surgery. No contact for him for another two weeks.