Penguins’ Letang returns to training just 10 days after stroke

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was a full participant in Pittsburgh Penguins practice on Thursday morning, just 10 days after being sidelined indefinitely with a stroke.

Letang had been doing light skating on his own for the past few days, but returning to training with no apparent limitations was a significant leap, and certainly leads to the possibility of him returning to playing action at some time in the not-too-distant future.

Although he was considered out indefinitely, the Penguins and Letang haven’t ruled out a return at some point this season.

It just didn’t seem like something that was on the table that quickly.
What was so amazing about the news of Letang suffering a stroke was that it wasn’t the first time he had one in his career. He also missed six weeks in the 2013-14 season after suffering a stroke. That’s when it was discovered that Letang had a small hole in his heart called a patent foramen ovale (a PFO). This second stroke was not considered as serious as the first he suffered.

Letang has been sidelined since last Tuesday when he called team coach Chris Stewart to report a migraine and say something “didn’t feel right.” It was then that the Penguins team doctor told him to go to the hospital immediately where tests revealed the stroke.

There is still no definitive timetable on Letang’s return to action, but his return to full training without limitations seems to indicate that he is close.

That might sound scary given his past health record, but if his doctors and the Penguins team doctors clear him and don’t think there’s a risk, those are really the only opinions that matter.

Letang has been a core member of the Penguins for 17 years, while he, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin tied a professional sports record this year for the longest tenure for a trio of players to play together. He tied a mark set by New York Yankees teammates Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

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