Marian Hossa still recovering
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa is feeling better but still hasn't recovered from a head injury suffered last month when Phoenix Coyotes winger Raffi Torres hit him in the head in the first round of the playoffs.
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"I'm feeling better but still not feeling myself, so it's going to take some time," Hossa said in a conference call with reporters from Slovakia on Thursday. "The good thing is, step by step, (I'm) getting a little bit better, so that's a good sign."
Hossa was hit in the head by Torres midway through the first period of Game 3 on April 17, causing him to black out and leave the game on a stretcher. Torres was suspended for 25 games but earlier on Thursday announced he's appealing the suspension.
Hossa said Torres reached out to him "about a week" after the hit.
"It was nice he contacted me, but on the (other hand) I told him, 'I know you play that way, but the one thing that upset me (was) the jump; if you wouldn't jump, I wouldn't get hit in the head and you wouldn't have 25 games.' The phone conversation was pretty quick," Hossa explained.
Hossa had just played the puck in the neutral zone when Torres left his skates, knocking the Hawks' star out.
"I don't remember much," Hossa said. "I remember a few seconds seeing (Hawks doctor) Dr. Terry. Just remember a little bit in the ambulance and I woke up in the hospital."
Hossa was released that night. He also bruised his elbow when he hit the ground. He's hopeful he'll be fully recovered by training camp, which starts in September.
"I'm slowly getting better," Hossa said. "Slowly going for walks. Training camp is still far away. I'm in contact with the team. I believe I'll be ready."
Hossa saw the replay of the hit several days later and again expressed his displeasure with Torres leaving his feet to deliver the blow.
"I was surprised there was no penalty," he said. "I've been hit so many times but never this hard obviously ... I don't mind getting hit; one thing upset me. The jump. That's basically how he hit my head."
Hossa said if he has had any concussions previously, they were mild.
"This is biggest one for sure," he stated. "Not fun, especially the first few days in a dark room."
Hossa wasn't sure how this would affect his offseason training schedule. First, he just wants to get better.
"It all depends," he said. "Definitely going to have a month and not do anything and (then) slowly do little things."
At this point, Hossa wants to get better and move on.
"You don't want to see this stuff in hockey," he said. "I was angry but what can you do. It's behind us now. I try to focus on my rehab and go from there."
Hossa didn't play in another game in the series, which the Hawks lost in six games.