How far will the Rangers get this season?

Staal Injury Overshadows Encouraging First Scrimmage

Marc Staal will miss the team's first three preseason games

Marc Staal will miss the team's first three preseason games

For more from training camp:

Training Camp Roster And 6 Battles To Watch >

Training Camp Opens With "The Test" >

Staal Injury Overshadows Encouraging First Scrimmage >


LATEST: Tortorella said that Staal experienced headaches this summer, so the Rangers are keeping him out of action as a precautionary measure.  They'd like him to play in one of the preseason games in Europe and hope that he'll be ready for the regular season, but Torts admits that you never know with concussions.  Staal did pass a baseline test before returning to action in March and again prior to training camp.  Tortorella also said that Prust could be held out longer because of his style of play, but he, too, should be ready for the start of the season. (4:45 p.m.)

UPDATE: Prust, Staal and Sauer all looked fine skating today despite not participating in the scrimmages, Jesse Spector reports. (3:30 p.m.)

EARLIER: The early on-ice reports from training camp should have Ranger fans chomping at the bit for the season to start, but injury concerns have marred the first weekend of camp.

The results of Friday’s conditioning tests showed that the Blueshirts trained hard this summer and were prepared for the open of the season.  Even better, in this morning’s scrimmage, which featured the first pucks of camp, Wojtek Wolski recorded a goal and three assists playing alongside Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

But while the Rangers could be well on their way to finding the third part of their top line, the  mounting number of wounded Blueshirts have overshadowed any positive developments at camp.

On Friday it was revealed that Artem Anisimov underwent an MRI to examine a knee issue discovered in his physical with team doctors.  Anisimov joined Mike Sauer in sitting out Friday’s conditioning tests, as Sauer, too, had tweaked his knee prior to camp.  Sauer also sat out from scrimmages today along with Brandon Prust, who the Rangers are trying to ease back into game action following offseason shoulder surgery. 

Sauer’s injury is cause for concern, but the real bombshell came today when the NY Post’s Larry Brooks tweeted that the Rangers are holding Marc Staal out of scrimmages because of post-concussion-like symptoms resulting from a head injury suffered when Staal was clocked by his own brother, Eric, last February.  Staal has been cleared for contact, but the Rangers are concerned that he was still experiencing issues this summer.  Brooks reports that Staal won’t play in any of the Rangers’ three North American preseason games before the team leaves for Europe.

Staal did miss three games following the hit, but he returned to play the rest of the season and in the playoffs.  Coach John Tortorella is expected to discuss Staal’s condition later this afternoon, which should reveal more about his status for the season.

While it’s alarming that Staal was still having problems this summer, that he has been cleared for contact suggests that the Rangers could just be treating this cautiously.  Staal has been skating and participating in practices, but the Blueshirts are perhaps wisely keeping him away from contact and potential harm for as long as possible.

Tortorella will be able to shed more light on the situation, but it may be premature to worry about Staal missing any regular season games.

- Also of note: Derek Stepan played between Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan today.


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Posted by Kevin Baumer | September 18, 2011 at 01:44 pm

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