John Tortorella meets the media at 12:50 PM and even though he said that Staal wasn’t going to play yesterday, it seems like the rumor will persist until Tortorella addresses it later. Maybe, just maybe though, Jim Ramsey got the YES from Staal and he passed it along to John Tortorella.
On the MSG pregame show last night, Marc Staal spoke with Sam Rosen about his recovery.
“I feel like it’s pretty close. Before I didn’t have any desire or motivation to come to the rink, I wasn’t feeling so great. Now that I am back on the ice watching the team travel and being around the guys you wanna get back on the ice and start playing the game again.”
On his conditioning, he said “I’m starting to feel like I am getting into good shape I don’t think you are every in game shape when you are practicing, you need to get back into the flow of the season. I am feeling pretty well and when everything is in line we can step back on the ice.
Every concussion case is unique and if Staal hasn’t had any symptoms lately and if taking some contact hasn’t hurt him, maybe he really is close and could come back by the second week in January. I have full trust in Staal and Jim Ramsey to make the right decision on when he should return and not a moment before.
Sam mentioned during the broadcast that Staal is close to telling the coaching staff that he is ready to play.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Marc Staal could be cleared for contact this week and that if all goes well, he could make his season debut within the next two weeks.
Staal is expected to meet with doctors today, or early this week, to determine the next step in his return from a concussion.
Contact is the last real step towards coming back but Staal also needs his strength and conditioning back up to where it needs to be. I have thought that the first week after the all-star break would be the earliest we would see Staal if he was cleared for contact this week. Either way, it looks like Staal could be back sooner rather than later.
At NHL.com, Dave Lozo spoke with Marc Staal who said that he would like to play in the Winter Classic a week from tomorrow.
Staal said though that he won’t rush back and in the case of his brother returning for the Winter Classic last year, “It’s a little different with your hand than your brain.”
“It’s something I’m not going to step into if I’m not ready,” Staal said. “It’s just not worth it to put yourself into a position like that if you’re not ready, physically or mentally. It sucks that I probably might not get a crack at it. It is what it is.”
He could be cleared for contact as early as tomorrow when he plans to meet with doctors.
Marc will only have to wait a couple of years until the Rangers host their own Winter Classic. All Marc needs to worry about his feeling good as he ramps up his workouts and gets cleared for contact.
“Every day I am getting stronger and feelings stronger on my skates. It was a pretty miserable month there, but starting to get to normal life again is a pretty good thing. There is no specific date yet, once I feel like I am in good enough shape to play in an NHL game, and if everything is feeling good, we will decide. When we get down the line a little more we will narrow it down.”
He told ESPN NY that he is starting to have fun at the rink again:
“Just the way I’ve been feeling for a while, I have that desire to play, to get hit, to get back into the grind of the season. The motivation’s there and I didn’t have much of that before when you’re not feeling well,” Staal said. “When you’re not struggling through days it’s not fun to come to the rink, and it’s getting fun again.”
He told the NY Post that he hasn’t had any bad days recently.
If all continues to go well, I still think that we see Staal in the first week after the all-star break. I know that Sidney Crosby may not be the best example anymore, but he was cleared for contact and skated for five weeks before returning. Getting Staal back would be will be the best move the Rangers can make at the trade deadline.
Marc Staal quote du jour: “I feel like a hockey player again.”