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Senators’ MacArthur to see concussion specialist, ‘doctors will decide his fate’

Clarke MacArthur’s career appears to be in the hands of doctors and concussion specialists. After suffering multiple concussions in a two year span, MacArthur’s future is in question.

When Clarke MacArthur suffered another concussion in training camp, his fourth in less than two years, the immediate concern was whether or not he’d be healthy enough to ever resume his career. That answer could be coming shortly.

MacArthur’s concussion was suffered on Sept. 25 during a scrimmage in Senators’ training camp. As MacArthur went to play a puck in the corner with his back turned to the play, he was hammered into the boards from behind by defenseman Patrick Sieloff, and MacArthur needed to be helped off the ice by teammates. The Senators immediately sent him home to rest and he hasn’t returned to practice since.

Since suffering the concussion, MacArthur, 31, has taken to Instagram to say that he intends to return to action “soon,” but that may not be the case. Meeting with media Tuesday, Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion said that MacArthur is set to meet with a concussion specialist in the coming days. Those meetings, Dorion said, could determine MacArthur’s ability to return to the lineup in the future.

“We’re going to leave the decisions on Clarke’s health in the hands of doctors,” Dorion said. “We’ll have a better idea within the next week what’s going to happen. We feel good. We’re excited to see him at the rink…For him, I’m really encouraged, but again, let’s be cautious. The doctors will decide his fate.”

It’s not all bad news for MacArthur, though. Dorion said MacArthur has shown some positive signs, such as taking part in a team building activity, and added that he looks healthier than he has in the past after suffering concussions.

The biggest concern is MacArthur’s health in the future. During his battle with concussions during the 2015-16 campaign, MacArthur told the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren that he “needed toothpicks” to keep his eyes open and that he was battling through severe headaches that made focusing on anything painful.

MacArthur stuck with his training near the tail end of the past season and managed to get cleared by Ottawa’s doctors, but the team decided to shut him down for the season instead of putting MacArthur at risk of further injury during the stretch. That decision gave MacArthur the full summer to recover, and his long road back made his concussion in training camp heartbreaking.

According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, if MacArthur doesn’t clear tests with doctors and if he’s ruled out of further action, he will be placed on long-term injured reserve. MacArthur is currently in the second season of a five-year, $23.25-million deal with Ottawa. He has only played five games for the Senators under that contract.

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