There is good news on the injury front for the New York Rangers. Fan favorite and feisty right winger Mats Zuccarello has skated for the first time since suffering a concussion in Round 1 of the playoffs.
Zuccarello got hit in the head with teammate Ryan McDonagh’s slapshot on April 24 (Game 5 against the Penguins) and immediately had trouble getting back to the bench. He was taken to the locker room by the medical trainer for more testing and he did not return for the rest of the night. He has been out indefinitely since then with an upper body injury according to the team.
Since his injury and with the team being mum about his injury, it lead to crazy speculations. Rumors had that his skull was bleeding, he could not speak correctly, he was having memory issues, and that his career was over.
These rumors were brought to an end when they showed him on the jumbotron at Madison Square Garden during Game 5 of the second round matchup agains the Washington Capitals. He made the trip to Washington for Game 6 and once again was in the building for the Game 7 victory.
Since his reemergence, the team released statements that he was doing light workouts. Finally today, he skated in full uniform before the morning skate. While it was only a skate it is still major progress. The Rangers organization has stated he is still out indefinitely.
While it is a small step, this is still great news on the Rangers front. Zuccarello is an effective player every shift he is out there and even though they are playing great as of late, inserting him back in the lineup when he is healthy will only benefit the entire team. Being the smallest player on the team does not always mean that you cannot make the biggest impact.