The Rangers are not confirming or denying---on the record---that Marc Staal has been cleared for light exercise by concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu, who shut the defenseman down completely for a month.
The team, which has been saying there is no timetable for a return, has been adamant about not providing updates, so writers have to rely on unnamed sources.
If accurate---and I have no reason to disbelieve the reports---it's a logical next step for concussion sufferers: Sidney Crosby, David Perron, Daniel Alfredsson, to name other NHLers, are following similar paths. If the headaches or other symptoms resume, the player is shut down again. If not, exercise is slowly ratcheted up.
As his brothers have indicated in recent weeks, Marc is feeling better. He isn't completely shut down. But there could still be setbacks. Bottom Line: Even in a best-case scenario, the sidelined Rangers d-man isn't coming back anytime soon. Caution is king.