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Marc Staal, with headaches, will miss pre-season games

Marc Staal, the Rangers’ All-Star defenseman, will miss the team’s first three pre-season games---and likely more---because he has been experiencing headaches, presumably a recurrence of symptoms following a concussion against the Hurricanes in Carolina on Feb. 22.
Coach John Tortorella said that although Staal began experiencing headaches this summer and in camp, has been progressing for the past three days. Staal passed a baseline neurological test on Friday, a measure that is required for players who sustained a concussion during the previous season.
“He can skate, he’s cleared for contact, we just want to hold him back,” Tortorella said. “He’s a very important guy and we want to be smart about this. I’d like to get him in a couple (pre-season games) overseas” before the regular-season opener on Oct. 7 in Stockholm against the Kings.
Staal, 24, who was hammered by his brother Erik, the Carolina center, in the third period of that game, also hurt his left knee on the check. “It was diagnosed as a concussion,” said Tortorella.
The defenseman missed three games, passed the baseline test and played on March 3. ‘Then he didn’t feel right before the Pittsburgh game (March 20),’’ Tortorella said. We kept him out two games, and he felt good and we played him. What bothers me the most is what re-occurred in the summer,” when he started ramping up his workouts.
Staal called the team and “so our doctors was with him this summer,” Tortorella said. “Coming into camp, he was still experiencing headaches, nothing debilitating…he was skating really well today, he worked out hard, and told me he felt really good.
There’s no sense of rushing this when this has lingered. He’s not fighting for a spot. I’ve been very encouraged the past couple days.’’
Staal, one of the team’s alternate captains who is in the second-year of a five year, $18.975 million contract, was not made available for comment.


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