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Friday, March 14, 2014
Rich Peverley attends Stars game

By Richard Durrett
ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Stars forward Rich Peverley returned to American Airlines Center on Friday for the first time since collapsing after experiencing a cardiac event Monday.

Rich Peverley
Stars forward Rich Peverley received a standing ovation in his return to the American Airlines Center after collapsing from a cardiac event Monday.

Peverley made the appearance, sitting in a suite, to see his teammates play at home against the Calgary Flames. He will head to Cleveland on Sunday and meet with doctors there Monday. Peverley is expected to undergo surgery soon to regulate an atrial fibrillation, which was diagnosed during a preseason physical in September. He will not play hockey for the remainder of this season.

During the first television timeout Friday night, the Stars made an announcement thanking the doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the 31-year-old Peverley was shown on the video screen. He received a standing ovation from fans, and both teams stood on the bench and banged their sticks against the boards in salute. Peverley clapped as the team thanked the medical staff and then waved to the crowd.

With a little more than six minutes gone in the first period of Monday's game, Peverley's heart started beating fast and then stopped for what doctors said was a matter of seconds before CPR was administered. Peverley's heart was defibrillated successfully on one try, and he was talking prior to heading to the hospital.

Peverley spent 48 hours in a local hospital undergoing tests that doctors said were normal. He faces a recovery time of two to three months after the surgery and then doctors and Peverley will re-evaluate how he's doing and what it means for his hockey future.