Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perron skates with team for first time

Colaiacovo also on ice, geared to play tonight against Carolina

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- When he stepped onto the ice today with his teammates for the first time in 10 months, it may not have seemed like much to some, but for the Blues' David Perron, it was a huge moment.

Perron, who suffered a concussion Nov. 4 against San Jose and Joe Thornton, received clearance to resume working out but on Thursday, it was the first time the 23-year-old from Sherbrooke, Quebec participated in any organized workout with his teammates.

(Getty Images)
Blues forward David Perron (57) in a preseason game against Chicago
last season. Perron skated with the team for the first time since suffering
a concussion in November.

"It's definitely something that was good to follow the guys on the ice and not have to stay in the gym while they're practicing," Perron said at St. Louis Mills. "It's just one step. There's many more to go, but it felt good."

Perron, who's been on the injured reserve with post-concussion syndrome, has found life tough to get back onto the ice. Persistent post-concussion syndrome has kept the 23-year-old off the ice for the majority of the last 10 months.

Thornton was suspended two games as a result but Perron missed the final 72 games last season and the first six this year.

But Perron was able to get good news recently from a concussion specialist in Boston and has begun the slow process of getting back onto the ice.

"I skated this morning on my own again. It felt good," said Perron, who had five goals and two assists in 10 games last season. "I wanted to try it out with guys moving around me. It was good. It was just one drill. I had the chance to score a goal."

Perron was on the ice for roughly 15-20 minutes and will monitor his situation along with the Blues' medical training staff.

"I may go back at it before tomorrow's morning skate," Perron said, referring to Friday's pregame skate before the Blues face the Carolina Hurricanes. "We'll see. I'll talk with (head athletic trainer) Ray (Barile) in there and we'll see what we want to do, but that's the plan right now."

Blues coach Davis Payne said, "
Yeah, again, there's a lot of conditioning, a lot of timing that has to go on. Get him out there in one drill just to have that early feel ... he's been doing a lot of stuff on his own. Again, certain things we want to expose the guy to as he continues to get better."

Perron was given the green light and has been doing some light skating and light workouts that have been slowly ramped up as time progresses. The concussion symptoms have slowly subsided to almost where they do not exist anymore.

"I feel good with that part. There's still a little bit of stuff," Perron said. "The good part is if I keep increasing, it means that I felt good enough to do that and that's basically the positive you have to take out of that."

With the Blues off to a rough start at 2-4, Perron's presense put a good mood in the locker room.

"It's great to see him out there," teammate T.J. Oshie said. "It's a tough time for the team right now after our road trip, but it put a little smile on our face seeing him out there with the boys."

There is still no timetable for Perron's return. He has been monitoring the progress of the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, who is also sidelined with a concussion but has been skating regularly with his teammates.

"You look at the Crosby situation, he's been practicing for a month and half now with the team and still isn't playing," Perron said. "Who knows how long it's going to take. If it's the same situation, we'll take it day by day. It was good to be on the ice with the guys today and I think they were happy for me too as well."

Also back on the ice with the Blues Thursday was defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who missed the last five games after suffering a concussion in the season-opener on Oct. 8 against Nashville.

Colaiacovo has a history with concussions, including one last season that sidelined the defenseman for seven games.
(Getty Images)
Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo (28) has missed five games after suffering
a concussion in the season opener.

The Blues host Carolina Friday and Colaiacovo deems himself fit and ready to go.

"I've been working real hard for the last week," Colaiacovo said. "I've been skating every day since Monday and I had a real good skate today. I felt great out there. I'm just hoping to be OK and good enough for tomorrow."

No decision has been made yet but all indications lean on Colaiacovo returning to the lineup.

"I think the positive is that I was able to be out there with the boys," Colaiacovo said. "I think when tomorrow comes, we'll make that decision."

Colaiacovo skated with the team in full contact drills Thursday without any repercussions.

"The biggest thing for me was just trying to get rid of my headaches," Colaiacovo said. "For the first five, six days, they were really intense. Once they start to settle down and go away, I was able to pick up my normal routine and get back into the gym. I haven't had any setbacks, so it's been good. I've been getting the proper rest, the proper nutrition and making sure that when I'm ready to get back out there, it'll be the right time. As you can see, I've got a big smile on my face going today. I'm happy to be around the boys and excited to get back out there."

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