Thursday, October 21, 2010

Janssen close to rejoining Blues

Enforcer passes neurophysiological testing "with honors"

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Cam Janssen is back. And he's back to his old self again.




Yep, the Blues' enforcer was in full force as he gathered with small media contingency Thursday at St. Louis Mills.

Janssen, out since opening night after suffering a concussion and sternum contusion following a collision with teammate Brad Winchester, said he's passed his neurophysiological tests. He worked out off-ice on Wednesday and skated on his own Thursday.

Janssen will not be available to play this weekend but will likely be able to suit up when the Blues skate in Nashville.

Janssen took an inadvertent elbow from Winchester as the two were trying to put a hit on Philadelphia's Oskars Bartulis along the side boards. Janssen took the brunt of the blow and his head smacked hard onto the ice surface.

"I passed my neuro-psyche tests yesterday ... with honors," Janssen said. "... I skated today for the first time and I got new skates that don't have white on them. I'm going to hope I score like Perry (Blues forward David Perron) does now."

Joking was at the forefront of Janssen's comments today, including one in particular as Blues coach Davis Payne walked by and put an ear into the conversation, "Our coach is great. ... He's a great guy."

Payne even quipped himself when he met with the media. He caught and laughed when he spoke of Janssen's head.

"We just got word on the baseline testing as far as what's going on inside his head ... wow, I don't know if that's accurate as far as the baseline test goes ... but clearance as far as that part of the injury, which is obviously good," Payne said. "It's a sensitive injury and it's one we've got to take care of. Obviously getting past that stage is important for Cam and important for us."

Janssen, 26, will spend the weekend getting back in shape and using the four days off in between games to be fit and ready to play against the Predators next week.

"By Thursday, I'm going to be rocking and rolling," Janssen said. "... I'm pumped up. This is tough.

"I'm cleared with my testing. I passed that, but before you do that, you're not allowed to work out or anything hard. So I got that done and I got to skate today. They really skated me. I felt great, and now it's just (a matter of) getting in shape again, which takes a couple days."

Janssen said he does remember what happened but doesn't like to watch replays.

"It's hard to watch a replay of it. I cringe," he said. "My family can't even watch it. I've done that to guys. It just happens. It's hockey. It's a hard sport. If that happened to any one of you guys, you'd still be in the hospital to be honest here.

"You get hit, you get hit. It's hockey. I'd rather my own teammate do that than somebody on their team to have the satisfaction. It was just a freak incident and you just gotta deal with it. I feel great. Now I just got to get back in the lineup and go from there."

And as far as Winchester is concerned when the two meet in practice?

"Winny's going to get it," Janssen joked. "I've got a tracking device on me so he doesn't hit me anymore."

Yep, Janssen's back to normal again.

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