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Neal has concussion; Letang practices

Monday, 04.08.2013 / 12:49 PM / Features
By Sam Kasan
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Neal has concussion; Letang practices

Penguins winger James Neal has been diagnosed with a concussion.

James Neal
James Neal
Left Wing - PIT
GOALS: 18 | ASST: 14 | PTS: 32
SOG: 128 | +/-: 3
“James Neal has a concussion and will miss the (three-game road) trip,” head coach Dan Bylsma said.

While Bylsma said Neal has improved, there is no timetable for his return to the ice.

"James obviously got buttoned in the game, we all could see that," Bylsma said. "He’s been feeling a lot better and feeling pretty good, but you just don’t know with these types of injuries. We’ll take it day-by-day going forward and no further than that."

Neal was elbowed in the head by New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto halfway through the third period of Pittsburgh’s 2-1 shootout victory Friday night at CONSOL Energy Center.

Neal, 25, remained on the ice following the hit. He was able to skate off on his strengths after being attended to by head athletic trainer Chris Stewart and did not return in the game.

Kris Letang
Kris Letang
Defense - PIT
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 25 | PTS: 28
SOG: 73 | +/-: 11
Defenseman Kris Letang, who has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, returned to team practice Monday at Southpointe.

“I’m feeling good,” Letang said. “It’s exciting to be back and practicing with the boys.”

Letang did not have an update on when he could return to the ice.

“I don’t know, it’ll be up to the coach,” he said. “There’s no rush to get back, but at the same time it’s a short season. I want to start playing, being healthy and ready to go for the playoffs.

“We’ll see how I feel (Tuesday) and go from there.”

In Neal’s absence the Penguins used the following line combinations:
Kunitz-Malkin-Iginla
Morrow-Jokinen-Dupuis
Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy
Glass-Adams-Bennett

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