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Pierre-Marc Bouchard puts comeback from concussion problems on ‘pause’


James O’Brien

In late August, we shared the most recent bit of optimistic news about Minnesota Wild playmaker Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s fight with post-concussion syndrome.

Well, the good news is that Bouchard is practicing with the team and will continue to do so. That bad news is that he’s still dealing with specific symptoms - particularly “a certain pressure in his head” - that he faced during the spring. For that reason, a concussion specialist told Bouchard to “hit pause” on his comeback, according to Wild beat reporter Michael Russo.

Now, the team and Bouchard were quick to point out that it wasn’t a specific setback, yet Russo counters logically that the bald truth is that the timetable on his return is “extremely uncertain.”

Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s rehab assignment to Houston will have to wait. Bouchard, who hasn’t play[ed] a hockey game since Opening Night last season due to a concussion and subsequent post-concussion syndrome, had a conversation with Denver-based Dr. James Kelly on Thursday. Bouchard told the concussion specialist what he’s been telling us for months. He still has a certain pressure in his head, sometimes immediately after workouts, sometimes late in the afternoon, sometimes at night.

He’s complained about this symptom since I talked to him on the phone in June, although he said it HAS gotten better. Kelly has “strongly recommended” to Bouchard to “hit pause.” That doesn’t mean he’s been shut down. Bouchard is allowed to continue to work out and practice normally (includes contact) with the Wild, but until he strings some days together without symptoms, he’s not able to take the next step and play some games.

So this is some tough news for the Wild, who can use every point generator they can get. That being said, concussions are not injuries to be trifled with, so you cannot blame Bouchard or his team for being cautious.

To read more about his situation, click here.