Kris Letang Returns from Concussion vs. Rangers

Updated: January 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm by Alexander Monaghan

According to Dave Molinari of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via Twitter, Letang will play tonight. Expect him to pair with Brooks Orpik on the top defensive unit and to get some time on PP1. For the team’s projected lines, click here.

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UPDATE 1/19/12: Kris Letang returned to practice yesterday which fueled speculation over when he will actually get back in a game.

The offensive defender, who was concussed in late-November, now has two days of skating in him but could be ready to suit up. This news coming from a team that waited two months for Sidney Crosby to declare himself ready despite their captain skating/practicing since training camp.

Anyways, Josh Yohe of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported, via Twitter, that Letang could play as soon as tomorrow against the New York Rangers. One has to wonder whether rushing him back into the lineup is a smart move. However, James Neal is currently playing, and scoring, on a broken foot so anything is possible in Pittsburgh.

We should know prior to tomorrow’s game whether Letang will play, so stay tuned.

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UPDATE 1/16/12: According to Josh Yohe of The The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, via Twitter, Letang could actually see game action before the All-Star Game. Expect another update shortly.

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This afternoon, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero announced on 105.9 The X that Kris Letang will return to practice tomorrow. Sidelined since November 26th with a concussion, the offensive defenseman will continue to be brought along slowly. Nevertheless, this remains a big step towards his recovery.

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UPDATE 1/6/12: Over a week ago, Kris Letang explained he was ‘feeling better’ after suffering a concussion at the beginning of December. Today, he took the next step by getting back on the ice according to Sam Kasan of, via Twitter.

While we understand the Penguins prefer to take it easy with their concussed players, Letang is certainly making strides towards recovering this season. Check back for a further update on the offensive defenseman as doctors continue to evaluate him.

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UPDATE 12/28/11: Three weeks after Kris Letang was placed on IR with concussion-like symptoms, we receive our first update on the wounded d-man. According to Sam Kasan of, via Twitter, Letang has been “feeling better”.

What that means for his long-term status is unknown. In that same 140-word snippet, Kasan commented that other injured players — Richard Park and Paul Martin — would return to practice shortly. However, he did not put Letang in that same phrase which should indicate he’s a bit away from stepping back on the ice.

Similar to Sidney Crosby owners, fantasy hockey GMs need to make a contingency plan for their number one defenseman. At this rate he could miss at least all of January.

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12/5/11: On November 4th, 2010, left wing David Perron was hit in the head with a shoulder by ‘Jumbo’ Joe Thornton. Perron, who is generously listed at 6’0″, was blamed for the hit and further scrutinized for his ablility to stay in the game and score the game winning goal. It was only later that he noticed symptoms of a concussion, an ailment that would sideline him for over a year.

This season, we saw a similar example of a delayed concussion as Pittsburgh Penguins defender Kris Letang had his nose broken at the hands of Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. Letang then came back for overtime and scored the game winner. Similarly, he has been unable to play a single game since the infliction and was retroactively placed on injured reserve this morning. The wounded defender can return at any time as his original injury is past the requisite seven days.

In his absence, Paul Martin takes his place on the top defensive pairing and top power play unit. If you need a defender in a pinch, Kevin Bieksa, Ryan McDonagh, Sami Salo and Dan Hamhuis have been rather popular adds in standard fantasy hockey leagues.


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