Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy back at practice

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 29: Charlie McAvoy
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 29: Charlie McAvoy /

Star defenseman Charlie McAvoy is back at practice with the Boston Bruins and raring to go after being benched by a heart scare.

Charlie McAvoy is having a sensational rookie year and is developing into a star on the Boston blueline.

But the 20-year-old endured a major health scare back in November. McAvoy started to experience heart palpitations on the bench during a game, and reported the problem to team doctors.

It was feared his season could be halted prematurely. Concerns were even raised that his career could be jeopardized. But McAvoy had surgery to tackle the problem – and is now relieved to be back on the ice and nearly ready to play.

McAvoy first experienced problems while palying the Edmonton Oilers. His heart rate became extremely quick and slipped into an irregular beat.

He flagged up the problem with team doctors, and underwent a series of tests. Supraventricular tachycardia was the diagnosis.

Following the diagnosis, McAvoy underwent a cardiac procedure on Jan. 22. Doctors carried out an ablation, removing a small amount of tissue from around his heart.

The Boston Bruins have now confirmed that McAvoy is back at practice with the team. Better yet, he will not suffer any long-term negative effects.

"“I think it was relief first off to find out it was not life-threatening and not dangerous to my overall health,” the budding star told reporters at a press conference this week. “To find out that it was something that was not dangerous, something I could still continue to play with, that was a good takeaway from the overall situation.”"

McAvoy has had several minor cardiac episodes previously. But the most recent incident was the worst. It was also the first to force him to seek medical attention.

Doctors have confirmed that McAvoy could experience more episodes. But he will also be able to continue playing hockey with no serious risk to his health.

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He will meet with doctors again this week and is raring to re-join the lineup. McAvoy is one of the league’s top rookies and is on course to be a Calder Trophy finalist.