BOSTON – Bruins centre Marc Savard is going to be more cautious this time.
Savard played for Boston in the post-season after suffering a concussion in March, but acknowledged Saturday he was still feeling the effects of the injury during the Bruins’ loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Savard tried to fight through the symptoms all summer until he and agent Larry Kelly finally decided to go public with his issues and stop most activity. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced a week ago that Savard would miss some time during training camp.
“I’m obviously still a little ways away. I’m going to take my time here and make sure I’m good,” Savard said Saturday in his first public comments since camp opened. “I think, of my own fault, I might’ve come back a little too early here, so that’s my own fault. That’s, I guess, just the hockey player in me, wanting to play hockey in the playoffs. Right now, I’m just going to take it slow here. Hopefully I’ll be around the guys and get the help that I need right now, and it’ll help.”
The 33-year-old Savard said his post-concussion symptoms included dizziness, nausea, headaches and even depression. He admitted to being a bit fatigued during the series with the Flyers, especially when his playing time increased following fellow centre David Krejci’s season-ending wrist injury in Game 3.
“I’ve had knee issues and stuff like that. You come back a little early, but you just play through it,” Savard said. “I guess with your brain and your head, I guess I learned that that probably wasn’t the best thing to do. This time I’m going to make sure I’m ready.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Savard passed the required tests for returning to action, the coaching staff was not privy to any information regarding the player’s struggles. But Julien wants to move forward now.
“The bottom line is, I’m not going to overanalyze this whole thing,” he said. “We have a guy here that we need to give him a chance to get better because, first of all, health is the most important thing, not the game at this moment. Once his health is better and he’s ready to come back, then we’ve got to make sure we ease him back in. And more than anything else, we’ll be glad to have him back because he’s one of those elite players.”
Savard had two previous concussions in his career and it’s hard to tell when he might return. He wouldn’t rule out missing the entire season.
“I haven’t thought about it,” he said. “But obviously you wonder if it happened again, it’d have to be bad. Those are the things that I have to deal with now and the things that I have to get over.”