Good news for the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman, Kris Letang, this morning.
Yahoo Sports is reporting Letang will return to action tonight, against the Detroit Red Wings, after missing more than two months. He hasn’t played since January 27th, 2014, after suffering a stroke, however, he’s been practicing with the team since March, 17th. The stroke may have been a blessing in disguise for Letang, as a small hole in his heart (present since birth) was also discovered. The Penguins announced after tests were confirmed in February:
“Further testing also revealed that Letang, 26, has had a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth. This small defect in the wall is present in all individuals before birth but seals shut in most people. It is possible that the hole in the heart led to the stroke.”
The praise and congratulations for Letang’s return will come with a very watchful eye. He may have been cleared by doctors, but, according to freelance columnist, Joe Starkey, he may not necessarily be out of the woods yet. Letang told Starkey in an interview:
“I can be really dizzy,” he said. “Sometimes I have trouble walking, like, in a straight line. … I have some vision things. Lights would bother me, stuff like that.”
This is a very scary situation for everyone involved. A world-class athlete, in the prime of his career, being diagnosed with such serious ailments. Although frightening, it’s imperative that the sports world pay attention to how Letang progresses. There are many athletes out there without the attention of a “Kris Letang” who may feel they’re completely healthy, and could be susceptible to the same sorts of things.
Our prayers and best wishes to Letang in his return.