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Swedish report: Lukas Bengtsson dealing with lyme disease

The Pittsburgh Penguins prospect defenseman has been out recently and reports out of Sweden point to an unlikely culprit

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

According to Swedish paper Aftonbladet, there's a reason for the absence of Penguins prospect defenseman Lukas Bengtsson . Here's a (sometimes hilarious) rough online translation

Lukas Bengtsson joined Frölunda Mora made his success. Last season the defenseman (had) big (Season), accounting for ten goals, twelve assists and took Frolunda all the way to the SM-gold. Then came the reward: a contract with the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. But now he has got a heavy vengeance.

Bengtsson has suffered from Lyme disease and had large portions of the preseason destroyed by the disease. "I trained at home in Sweden last summer, but felt constantly tired. I had no energy and felt out of sorts", says Bengtsson.
"In the end, I sought treatment and they found that I had Lyme disease and I got antibiotics for ten days." After ten days, the defenseman started to train again, went later to the United States, but the problems continued. "I ran a bicycle workouts here and was completely eliminated afterwards. I was lying in the hotel room for four or five days and could not do anything."

Bengtsson received care yet again and is now awaiting a new antibiotic regimen for 21 days. But he is still with the Pittsburgh Penguins and has not been sent to the farm team. "I have no idea how the arrangement looks. They keep me here and keep an eye on me. But it is of course sad, you want to show up and play friendlies, although they said that they had seen what I can (do)....Now I just focus on getting well," adds Bengtsson.

Bengtsson played pretty well in mid-September in a prospects tournament, but hasn't been in practice for about the last 2 weeks and has not appeared in any NHL preseason games. I don't think has had an update since last Thursday when coach Mike Sullivan mentioned he was recovering from an illness.

The CDC says of Lyme disease:

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.  Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics

With missing all this valuable training camp time, and the NHL season right around the corner (plus a packed Pittsburgh defensive core), it's looking like Bengtsson will likely be assigned to the AHL sooner than later, something that he's mentioned in the past he is willing to do despite his contract online being listed in some places with a clause that gives him an option out.

(s/t to reader Karl)