Overshadowing the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last evening, head coach Dan Bylsma gave an injury update on superstar centerman, Evgeni Malkin, in his post-game media conference. Malkin is, in fact, suffering from a concussion.
Malkin was hurt during the third period of last Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers after forcefully hitting the boards. He skated off the ice and headed to the locker room on his own, but did not return to play for the remainder of the game.
From then he was evaluated and continued to be evaluated by team physicians and, although they had remained optimistic, had not ruled out a concussion. From PittsburghPenguins.com:
“(Malkin) will continue to be evaluated by our doctors tonight before the game,” Bylsma said. “At this point in time we have not ruled out an concussion. I am happy to report that he has not been suffering from headaches or disorientation.”
But what he was suffering from was short-term memory loss which is what lead them to ultimately diagnose Malkin with a concussion. Also from PittsburghPenguins.com:
“After the hit Evgeni suffered some short-term memory loss and therefore was diagnosed with a concussion,” Bylsma said. “He’s had no other symptoms. He’s feeling fine and his memory is returning.”
It is unknown as to how long Malkin will be out of the Penguins lineup, but he won’t be traveling with the team on their upcoming three-game road trip to play against the Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens.
As has been discovered with the sports world slowly learning more about concussions, each player is different when it comes to symptoms and the speed of recovery. We can certainly see that with the difference between Malkin and Sidney Crosby as one is suffering from short-term memory loss while the other experienced headaches. There is no way to determine how or when Malkin will fully recover from his concussion, but if he can learn anything from Crosby’s concussion, it’s to take things slowly and not to rush back into playing. And if the Penguins recent win is any indication as to how they will play without him in the lineup then there should be absolutely no rush at all.