What an outstanding turn of events for Rick Nash and the New York Rangers. A week ago there were rumblings that Nash’s career could be in jeopardy due to the presumed severity of his concussion. The Blueshirts had remained very tight lipped about his status, and folks were beginning to assume the worst.
Rick Nash taking the optional AM skate at the Garden. Still working his way back pic.twitter.com/wYcXjl3jUu
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) November 12, 2013
This was his fourth consecutive day out on the ice skating, and he hasn’t suffered any setbacks. Nash spoke to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News following his hour-long skate this morning and had this to say about the prognoses that he was given by top-end neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher:
He didn’t see any long-term effect. That was the best news. (Kutcher) is a specialist and deals with many players and many guys around the league… (I went there) just to kind of have him evaluate it and see what degree it was at, and how you’re feeling. He sees them every single day with his job, so it was important for him to be on the same page.
The fact that there doesn’t seem to be any long-term effect for Nash is outstanding news. It was easy to assume the worst after not hearing anything for so long, but it appears that one of the NHL’s most spectacular forwards is making a slow and steady climb back to the level of conditioning needed to compete with the Rangers.
According to Leonard, if Nash remains symptom free after his hard skate today heading into Wednesday he “could join the team for its next practice later that day.”
While Nash stressed that he wouldn’t be rushing back for New York, the sight of him skating around on the ice at Madison Square Garden speaks volumes for now.
Re: Rick Nash: Please bear in mind he has not yet rejoined #NYR for full team practice, still in early stages of regaining conditioning.
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) November 12, 2013
It’s too early to say for sure, but this could put the talented winger back in the running to play for Canada in the Olympics, and with the Rangers climbing back into the playoff race, Nash’s return could be an epic boost at the perfect time.
UPDATE: The New York Rangers have confirmed that Nash will be taking part in practice on Wednesday.
#NYR Breaking News: Alain Vigneault has just announced Rick Nash will return to practice with the team tomorrow
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 12, 2013