Rangers All-Star defenseman Marc Staal, suffering from post-concussion headaches, will not accompany the team tomorrow night on the flight to Europe to continue the second half of exhibition season, coach John Tortorella said today.
Staal, 24, who practiced today after two days of testing by specialists on Thursday and Friday, will undergo more evaluations, and could join the team in Europe. Tortorella said he would know more in four or five days.
"He practiced well," said Tortorella. "We’re not looking for (test) results it’s just an on-going procedure. He will not be on the trip. We’re hoping that as he continues his procedures with the specialists--I’ll probably have an update on that four, five days…we’re going to try to get him on the trip. Once he feels better and we feel he can get into all the stuff we want him to do to get ready for the regular season, he’ll come out." He said Staal was not ruled out for opening night, Oct. 7 against the Kings in Stockholm.
The Rangers play in Prague on Thursday and Frolunda, Sweden on Friday, so Staal will miss those games. The Rangers will carry 10 defensemen on the trip, and will leave immediately following the game tomorrow night in Philadelphia. Staal was in meetings and due for acupuncture treatment, and was not available for comment.
He was concussed on a Feb. 22 hit from his brother, Eric, of the Carolina Hurricanes, missed a few games, but passed a baseline test and played the rest of the season. The headaches first arose during summer workouts. The third and fourth games of the trip are Oct. 2 in Slovakia and Oct. 3 in Switzerland.