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April 12, 2006 - Symptoms still bother Primeau

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Symptoms still bother Primeau


PHILADELPHIA — Keith Primeau took part in another practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., on Tuesday morning and said some of his post-concussion symptoms still affect him when he does strenuous exercise.

That's not exactly the kind of report that sparks encouragement with those closely following this experiment.

“When I'm on the ice I still have lightheadedness,” Primeau said. “My vision, which had been corrected for the longest time, started to bother me the last few days.

“During the day I feel real functional, real normal. On the ice I kind of feel disconnected from my head a little bit, and that's where the danger lies.”

Primeau gives the impression he will continue through this trial, without missing days, for at least a week to see if the on-ice symptoms subside.

“I knew when I decided to get back on the ice for practice I really wanted to try to make it a step where I wasn't on the ice one day and off for a day or two days, and I'm going to try to live with that,” he said.

Of course, the question everyone is asking is: If he plays, does he have any concerns about taking a big hit?

“For the longest stretch of time I was really scared,” Primeau said. “I didn't see any marked improvement on how I felt, and it's not a good feeling.

“I guess you have short-term memory because when you start to feel a little better you tend to forget how awful you felt and how long it took to feel better. It's not as scary now, but it's always in the back of your mind.”

Primeau says he went through a similar experience in the 2004 playoffs, just a few months after the first concussion he suffered in a collision with Bobby Holik of the Rangers. And he realizes he can't go back in time. He has a concussion history which will always factor in for the rest of his career.

“I feel real similar to the way I felt in the playoff run,” Primeau said. “That doesn't make it right playing through it last time. I understand it now, but this is also the next one.”