kris letang returns penguins practice 10 days

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was a full participant in Pittsburgh Penguins practice on Thursday morning, just 10 days after being sidelined indefinitely due to a stroke. 

Letang had been doing some light skating on his own over the past few days, but the return to practice without any apparent limitations was a significant jump, and certainly leads to the possibility of him returning to game action at some point in the not-too-distant future. 

Even though he was considered to be out indefinitely the Penguins and Letang did not rule out a return at some point this season.

It just did not seem to be something that was on the table this quickly.
What was so stunning about the news of Letang suffering a stroke is that it was not the first time he has had one during his career. He also missed six weeks during the 2013-14 season after suffering a stroke. It was at that time that Letang was found to have a small hole in his heart called a patent foramen ovale (a PFO). This second stroke was not considered to be as severe as the first one he suffered.

Letang has been sidelined since last Tuesday when he called team trainer Chris Stewart reporting a migraine and saying that something “did not feel right.” It was at that point that the Penguins’ team physician instructed him to get to the hospital immediately where tests revealed the stroke.

There is still no definitive timetable on when Letang will return to game action, but his return to a full practice with no limitations would seem to indicate it is close.

It might seem scary given his past health record, but if his doctors and the Penguins’ team doctors clear him and do not think there is a risk those are really the only opinions that matter.

Letang has been a core member of the Penguins for 17 years, while him, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin tied a professional sports record this year for longest tenure for any trio of players to play together. It matched a mark set by New York Yankees teammates Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada. 

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