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Report: Letang’s illness not believed to be life threatening, but Pens unsure when he’ll return

Feb 6, 2014, 11:47 PM EDT

Kris Letang AP

Here is an update from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (read the full version here) on the condition of Kris Letang.

Kris Letang’s mystery illness is not believed life threatening, but the Penguins are not sure when he will play again this season, multiple sources told the Tribune-Review.

The team planned to update Letang’s condition Friday.

There were concerns last week that Letang’s season — if not his career — could be in jeopardy because of the illness, the sources said.

Letang, a defenseman, has not taken the ice since Jan. 30, when he practiced but did not play at Los Angeles. He will not play against the New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center on Friday — the Penguins’ final game before the NHL’s Olympic break.

“There will be no update on Kris Letang until we have further update on his condition,” coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday.

The 26-year-old hasn’t played since Jan. 27 in a 3-0 defeat of Buffalo. Last week, Bylsma said the team didn’t know what was plaguing last year’s Norris finalist, adding that Letang was undergoing tests and evaluations to figure it out.

This has been an extremely difficult season for Letang’s health. He missed nine games at the start of the year with a knee injury, then another 10 with what was believed to be an elbow issue.

All told, Letang has appeared in just 34 games for Pittsburgh this season, scoring 10 goals and 18 points.

  1. pistolpete31 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Wow sounds like something nasty, I hope he doesn’t have MS or any life changing disease like that. Get well soon Kris from Minnesota.

    • bobhpine - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      This is quite odd indeed. Letang has been traveling with the team and has been seen daily at the Pens practice facility and in the owner’s box for games he has missed, so it’s clearly not something that has him bed ridden. You do worry about MS or something neurological, but obviously everything is speculative at this point.

      I know fans of other teams (see philly) don’t like Letang because he plays with an edge and he has long hair, but he’s actually a pretty good dude, very sensitive. I remember how crushed he was when his best friend died in a motorcycle accident during the ’08 cup finals. He chose to be scratched for many of the games in that series to go to the funeral and help his friend’s family.

      This sounds bad; I hope he’s alright.

  2. killerpgh - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    Kind of weird. I guess the only thing good to come out so far is it isn’t expected to be life threatening. Other than that not much has came out. When they first said he was out because of illness it was against the Kings. Then watching the game they showed him looking like he was having a good time up in the box watching with his mother and he didn’t look sick like one would think when they use “illness”. Hopefully this turn out like Shane Doan’s mystery illness earlier this season.

  3. 950003cups - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    What a sad thing to such a young talented guy.

  4. flyerspsu - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    damn just the fact that you need to say you don’t believe its life threatening shows how serious it is, as a flyers fan i never liked letang and was of the more disliked penguins but im rooting for him here

    • c9castine - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      im not a fan of how the headline and article was written considering we know nothing. rossi knows his stuff and knows the team really well but he has a tendency to write TMZ-like headlines

      that being said its obviously more than a cold and I’m a bit worried and hope the best for the guy. he can’t catch a break right now (health wise, he is rich) and never wanna see illness stop somebody from living life to their fullest.

      similar situation with vokoun. seems like he is making an attempt at a comeback, but gotta be tough for something like that to happen and possibly end something you love so much.

  5. sjsharks66 - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    I really hope this is not too serious. Great, young hockey player. Good vibes and thoughts to Letang and his family that he will get better.

  6. 7mantel - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Hoping the best for Kris !

  7. valoisvipers - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Could be Hepatitis, remember Patrick Elias had rough go with that a few years back.

  8. valoisvipers - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    Paging Dr Recchi.
    Seriously I do hope Tanger gets well quickly!

  9. steelpenbucs87 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    My guess is it may be a Staph infection. Those can range from knocking you out for 2-3 weeks to potentially losing a limb (which fits the criteria listed in the story). He did have an infection in his arm earlier this year as well.

    With that being said, a word to everyone about Mr. Rossi – he tends to sensationalize quite a bit. It’s not uncommon for him to embellish, stretch the truth, and in some instances seemingly make things up so that he can get a headline and a story. So while I am concerned, I am also a little bit skeptical (perhaps wishfully so) of this report. Right now Rossi is the only one with a report (TSN sources Rossi).

    • jpelle82 - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      they would be able to diagnose staph pretty easily. either they know and arent saying yet or it really is something more complex that requires further testing like the doan thing…which is what i would bet is the case. if its a common blood infection they would test and know almost immediately, my guess is its an immunodefeciency disorder brought to light as a result of his elbow infection. they usually do not present itself until adulthood and take a while to properly diagnose them. his lack of ability to fight off this elbow thing at 26 years old raises an eyebrow for me. i feel like a jerk for making the AIDS joke the other day now…

  10. stepanup - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    I didn’t realize how serious this situation was until this post. Get well Kris.

  11. theageofquarrel - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Get well young man!!

  12. bhunter47 - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    The Penguins just announced that he suffered a stroke, which may be related to a small hole found in the wall of his heart. They said the condition is treatable with blood thinners, and they don’t expect his career to be threatened, even though he will be out six weeks.

    Honestly, his career is the last thing to be concerned about at this point.

  13. gostillers - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will miss at least six weeks after having a stroke last week.

    The condition is treatable with blood thinners and at this point is not believed to be career threatening.

  14. officialgame - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    OK, the poor guy has a hole in his heart that caused a stroke and the Pens trainers except him back in 6 weeks? How do the imbeciles who run that team put a time frame on a serious medical condition?

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