Saturday, November 27, 2010

Perron speaks for first time since concussion

Forward admits that he's inching closer
to return, frustrated by slow process

ST. LOUIS -- It's been 24 days since David Perron has seen the light of day when it comes to the frozen water.

It was Nov. 4 when Perron literally had his world rocked by the hulking body of San Jose's Joe Thornton.

What started out as headaches have ensued into a concussion, one that has kept the Blues' left winger sidelined for 12 games.

Perron, who has five goals and seven points through 10 games, is slowly but surely getting better. It's just taking a but longer than teammates Cam Janssen and Carlo Colaiacovo -- who also have suffered concussions this season -- have endured.

Perron is playing hockey these days. Unfortunately, it's with his remote control and not a stick.

"I can actually play video games now," Perron said Saturday night prior to the Blues' home game with the Dallas Stars. "Before, all I could do is rest."

Perron said two weeks after Thornton leveled him near center ice that sent the Blues' winger crashing to the ice, he experienced headaches by driving a car. Video games made him dizzy ... everything made him dizzy.

However, Perron said Saturday that he's "close" to being symptom free.

He has to be symptom-free for 48 hours before undergoing the standard concussion testing. Then, he could resume light skating until he feels well enough to resume practicing.

"It's getting better," said Perron. "A little headache, not much of it, but we're looking to be symptom-free. The last four or five days, it's been staying the same in terms of the headache, but everything in terms of dizziness, I haven't felt anything lately.

"It's been kind of frustrating and disappointing that it's been this slow. But at the same time, I'm still positive and getting my rest and I hope to come back soon. The good thing is, it's getting better."

Naturally, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong grew concerned as the days led to weeks.

"I'm not sure if worried is the correct term, but obviously, you're wondering when there's going to be a break," Armstrong said. "I've talked to a lot of (general) managers around the league who have players in the same situation and they say that just one day the player walks in and says they're ready to play.

"We're hoping that is sooner than later with David. As much as we'd like to get David back in the lineup, I'm sure no one wants to be back in the lineup more than David. I know when he feels ready and comfortable, he'll be ready to play."

Perron didn't want to comment about the hit after the game, a 2-0 Blues victory over the Sharks in which Perron, in fact, came back and scored.

Thornton received a two-game suspension for the hit, but Perron, who said he doesn't blame the Sharks center, had no chance to see what was about to transpire.

Thornton was coming out of the box when Perron got flattened.

"It's frustrating to see that it's like that in today's NHL," Perron said. "I couldn't see him coming out of the box. You can tell on the video -- I watched it many times -- and you can tell that I looked up the ice a couple of times. As I looked down to get the pass, he stepped out of the box and takes two steps and hits me.

"Obviously he's not trying to hurt me there. He doesn't know it's going to go on this long and I'm going to miss this many games, so obviously he wouldn't do that."

The Blues felt like the punishment fit the crime.

"I thought the league dealt with it fairly and correctly," Armstrong said. "They took their time (and) they looked at the criteria for a suspension. There was no intent for something like this to happen. It's just something that happens in our game."

It's obvious Perron was not and has not been faking any sort of injury, as some analysts -- national media types included -- initially claimed.

"It was disappointing to see the media -- some of them -- what they said about me faking it and then coming back into the game," Perron said. "It was frustrating at first because I knew what my symptoms were, but it's over. It's no big deal. I like the support I got from the fans, and the coaches and the players have been there for me."

There is no timetable for Perron's return, but the signs appear to be positive with the latest developments.

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