Rangers blue liner Marc Staal, who sat out the team’s last two games before the league-mandated bye week, is currently suffering from post-concussion symptoms, writes Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The team originally described Staal’s injury as an “upper-body injury,” and it was presumed he would be back after the bye. However, this news throws that timeline into doubt.
Brooks reports that the defender has been working out at the team’s practice facility and did not go through the league’s concussion protocol. This suggests that Staal didn’t experience a specific in-game incident which would normally be associated with causing a concussion.
This is the third time Staal has missed significant time due to post-concussion symptoms. As Brooks notes, he missed the first 36 games of the 2011-12 campaign after taking a hard hit from his brother, Eric, during a game in Carolina in February of 2011. He then suffered a second concussion in December of 2013 which caused the veteran blue liner to sit out 10 contests.
Staal, the Rangers first-round pick in 2005, was an All-Star in 2011 and has suited up for nearly 750 NHL regular season and playoff games in his 10-year career. In 40 appearances with the team this season, Staal has registered three goals and three assists while lodging a plus-10 plus/minus rating. He’s averaging 19:33 of ice time per contest and has been a constant on the squad’s second defense pair in 2016-17.
If Staal is unable to return after the bye, Adam Clendening, who tallied his first goal as a Ranger Saturday night in Columbus, would remain in the lineup.