Major Update On Kris Letang's Status After Stroke

By Jason Hall

December 8, 2022

Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins
Photo: Getty Images

Kris Letang was a full participant in the Pittsburgh Penguins' practice on Thursday (December 8), less than two weeks after suffering a stroke for the second time in his career.

Andrew Destin of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared a photo of Letang skating on the ice in a regular sweater, which confirmed that he was a full-contact participant.

Letang, who had previously missed six weeks of action due to a stroke he suffered during the 2013-14 season before being cleared to return in March 2014, was ruled out indefinitely on November 30 after suffering a stroke earlier that same week.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told reporters that the veteran defenceman was cleared to practice by the team's medical staff, but his status for an in-game return would be monitored "day-to-day."

“I think everybody is excited when he gets to join the team,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s just an indication of the progress that he’s made. He’s obviously a huge part of this team.

“To see him on the ice, I think for all of us, it’s just a little bit of a sense of relief.”

The Penguins said Letang wasn't experiencing any lasting effects of the stroke and his condition wasn't believed to be career threatening at the time of the initial announcement on November 30.

Letang has appeared in 543 regular season games and 69 postseason games since his initial stroke eight years ago when doctors also found a small hole in the wall of his heart.

"I am fortunate to know my body well enough to recognize when something isn't right," Letang said in a news release on November 30. "While it is difficult to navigate this issue publicly, I am hopeful it can raise awareness. It is important for me that my teammates, family and the fans know that I am okay. I am optimistic that I will be back on the ice soon."

Letang recorded 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 21 appearances during the 2022-23 NHL season, averaging a team-best 23:54 in time on ice.

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