PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Kris Letang is continuing to recover from a stroke he suffered in January.
While a timetable for his return is unknown at this time, he spoke about the condition for the first time on Thursday.
“I have some good days, bad days. I said to many people I’m going day by day to get to 100 percent. I think the most difficult was around family. Everybody is extremely careful. I can’t even lift their luggage without them trying to help me out. Otherwise, it’s just been mentally a little bit tough,” Letang said.
Letang said his wife found him on the ground the morning he was supposed to head to Los Angeles with his mother as part of the Penguins’ Mom’s Trip.
Watch: Letang Speaks To Media For First Time Since Suffering Stroke:
“The day before I was totally fine. I was practicing. I woke up that morning not expecting that would happen,” Letang said. “It’s one day that I woke up and my wife found me on the ground.”
“I was not able to function.”
It’s been several weeks since the incident, but Letang said he is still experiencing some symptoms.
“It’s not as bad as when it happened, but there are symptoms to it. Some days it’s stronger,” Letang said. “The symptoms that I’m experiencing right now are from that stroke, what it damaged or did to my brain. For now, it’s just worrying about my head.”
For now, Letang is focusing on recovering and making strides every day to get back to 100 percent. He said he will remain on blood thinners for the time being and undergo a battery of tests in the coming weeks to determine the next course of action.
“I’m trying to improve every day. I come here, I try to exercise the best I can. I see doctors pretty much every week, twice a week to get better,” Letang said.
Letang spoke highly of the medical care he’s received and that the doctors took very good care of him and answered any questions he had. He admitted there was a little bit of a language barrier when he first learned he had a stroke.
“It’s tough to believe, but a lot of people say I’m in that percentage the .01. Honestly, when I found out, I kind of didn’t really believe it. At first, I didn’t understand the word. I had to call my wife and ask her what [it meant],” Letang said. “The chance that I get back to normal is really high. So, [the doctors] kind of reassured me that I will play again.”
He reiterated that he wishes he could get back on the ice and play in games right now. However, he knows that is not possible at this point in his recovery.
“If I have the chance to come back this year and play, it’s going to be great and I want to make sure I forget about the three-quarters of the season I missed,” Letang said.
For now, Letang is doing light workouts that do not include weights. However, he is trying to intensify the workouts a little more every day.
Letang also said being at the rink and with his teammates is an important part of his recovery.
“It’s important. I don’t want to hang out at home. I mean, it’s fun. I have my son and he’s growing fast. It’s been fun watching him going, but to be around the team and coming to the rink working out, seeing doctors, I feel like I’m trying to make steps getting closer to coming back at one point,” Letang said.
As for his teammates, they will be back in action tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m.
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