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Report: Letang’s test results encouraging, Penguins believe he’ll be back this season

A little more on Kris Letang

NHL: NOV 26 Maple Leafs at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last night on TSN, Pierre Lebrun had a little more information and nice synopsis of how the Penguins are handling the Kris Letang stroke situation and where the mindset is right now.

Here were Lebrun’s comments:

Number one, the Penguins have addressed this right out of the gates as dealing with Kris Letang the human being, not Kris Letang the hockey player. They’re not worried about his return in terms of the first thing they’re thinking of.

It is his second stroke but it wasn’t as severe as his stroke in 2014. The tests that have been performed in the last 48 hours have come back positive, which was a relief for everyone in the organization.

There is no firm timeline for his return, except for everyone involved, including the medical opinions that they are getting is that he will come back and play this season. So because of that, from the hockey perspective, the Penguins are not going out and looking for [defense] reinforcements on the trade market. They’re absolutely acting and believing like he’ll back back to play for them this season.

There’s nothing tremendously new about that information for those closely following the situation, which is great news. All along since the announcement was made that Letang suffered a stroke on Monday, it has quickly been referenced as not severe and also that he is in good spirits and feels generally very good. Since then, all reports have also indicated that the medical testing being done has been coming back with similarly encouraging results.

As general manager Ron Hextall and coach Mike Sullivan have said, the biggest test has been limiting Letang, who wanted to skate on Wednesday. After getting more tests back, Letang would be back on skates soon, getting on the ice on his own at the practice facility on Thursday.

All of this looks good, but taking a little “twirl” on the ice is a big leap away from even skating in a morning skate with pads and other players and should be kept in mind as well.

Overall though, considering the shocking and devastating news of a stroke earlier in the week, subsequent follow ups to the story so far probably couldn’t be any more positive or encouraging. It’s easy to see how in such an unprecedented scenario of an athlete suffering a second stroke that the Pens don’t have any timeline or idea what the future holds, but just as meaningful that between player, team and doctors that it looks like Letang could be back playing NHL games again at some point this season.