Staal: “I Feel Like a Hockey Player Again”

The Rangers have been bit hard recently with the injury bug. Mike Rupp missed six weeks with a knee injury and Wojtek Wolski hasn’t played since October due to a bad groin. More recently, defenseman Steve Eminger separated his shoulder and will miss eight weeks. Even Jeff Woywitka is a game-time decision tonight against the New Jersey Devils.

But there is some possible bright light at the end of this tunnel as Marc Staal skated as hard as he has in months as he continues to recover from post-concussion syndrome.

“I feel like a hockey player again,” Staal said to Rangers Rants. “It’s definitely getting a lot better. I feel better through the whole workout. Afterwards, it doesn’t feel like a cloud following me around. Still, in the back of my mind, I’m wondering when or if it might hit me.”

Staal skated today with Sean Avery, Erik Christensen and Wolski after the team’s morning skate in Newark, N.J.

The All-Star defenseman said the full month he took off from physical activity helped him get to this point. “Ultimately, for me, it was the rest, less TV.”

There is still no timetable for Staal’s return, but I think he is closer than most are hinting at. Reports from Monday said he could be cleared for contact in the coming days, the final hurdle before getting back into game shape. But with the recent setback to Sidney Crosby, I’m sure the Rangers won’t rush him back a second before he is ready.

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