Anyone watching the playoffs closely last year will remember hearing about Mats Zuccarello‘s frightening injury. After being struck in the head with a puck during a first round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins he wasn’t seen again in the postseason.
He later revealed that he suffered a brain contusion and temporarily lost the ability to speak. As Dan Rosen at NHL.com explains, “The contusion also caused bleeding on the brain, a hairline fracture in his skull, and the initial loss of some feeling in his arm. He said he spent three days in the hospital and needed help from a speech therapist to begin talking again.”
Today, Rosen relays good news from New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who says that Zuccarello has been cleared by the team medical staff and will be ready to go when training camp kicks off in September.
Vigneault told Rosen, “I’ve heard he’s 100 percent from our medical staff… He’s been cleared to skate and have contact. He’s made a full recovery so we’re very pleased about that. He’s a big part of our team.”
Last season Zuccarello, the only hobbit left on the Rangers, posted 15 goals and 34 assists in 78 games, as well as two assists through five postseason matches.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.