Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News
Rangers winger Rick Nash says the headaches following his Oct. 8 concussion have faded.
Though he sat out for practice, Rick Nash returned to the ice for the Rangers on Saturday afternoon, four-plus weeks after sustaining a concussion on Oct. 8.
“I think when you’re dealing with the brain you always want to be careful,” Nash said. “It’s just kind of a day-to-day thing now … hopefully tonight goes well, skate again tomorrow, and just kind of inch forward. I can’t pick a date and say next week or the end of this week or whatever it might be, I think it’s just important to do a bit more and hopefully the symptoms stay away.”
Nash said “headaches” were the persisting symptom, but that they have since faded in the past few days. He admitted frustration in missing time for the second-straight year due to a concussion, especially this year’s injury, which has proved more troublesome.
“Last year was pretty quick. I think I only missed four games and I was right back and this year the symptoms just held on,” Nash said. “It seemed like a couldn’t shake them for a while, so it was definitely a lot different than last year.”
The talented forward totaled three assists in the Blueshirts’ first three games this season before taking an elbow from Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart and missing the following 13 contests.
“Of course it’s a big loss,” GM Glen Sather said at practice. “Obviously he’s on the road to recovery, (otherwise) he wouldn’t be skating. He still has a ways to go. He’s still got to get back into condition.”
“It’s a real positive sign for us,” Alain Vigneault added. “He’s an elite player, obviously a player that has a tremendous amount of important minutes on the ice. You lose a player like that, it’s tough to replace. You gave some opportunities to some other guys to see what they could do. Some guys have grabbed the opportunity, some of them to a lesser extent. But obviously he’s a big part of our team and we’re looking forward to having him back.”
The Rangers (8-8-0) lost four of their first five games without Nash, but have since turned things around, winning five of their last seven.
“As of lately it’s been great, it’s been fun to watch,” Nash said. “We’ve looked really good the last handful of games and it’s tough to watch either way. You always want to be out there helping, especially when you’re struggling. Lately, guys have been playing unbelievable.
NOTES: Vigneault confirmed that F Taylor Pyatt, who didn’t practice on Saturday, sustained a concussion. C Dom Moore (oblique) also sat out.