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Savard looking better, hopeful for playoff return

04.19.10 at 12:49 pm ET
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Bruins’ center Marc Savard skated at TD Garden Monday morning for the first time since sustaining a Grade 2 concussion after a hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke on March 7. Savard said that he cannot tell for sure when he will be able to return from the injury but he was much more animated than the previous times he has met with the media since the hit. He said that he has regained the weight he lost after the injury and has been able to do a little golf putting for exercise in the last week or so.

Here is the transcript from Savard’s morning press conference courtesy of the Boston Bruins media relations department:

On how long he skated this morning and what types of workouts he has been doing:

Well, today I was there for thirty minutes I think — first time I skated and I feel great. I felt great. Biggest thing was the last seven days, I had great days, you know. To be honest with you, you know, I talked to the doctor and I said, ‘Can I get out and putt or something?’ and she said, ‘yeah, go ahead.’ So I started on — I guess it was on Saturday — not this Saturday but the one before and I went out and putted for a half hour and went home, felt great, and then continued on Sunday, got out again and did a little more putting and hopefully I won’t have to use that putter for a while. So I just felt great all week and then I guess yesterday, I did that exertion test and everything felt great again last night, so today was my first day on the ice and I just feel normal again, so it’s nice.

On when he thinks he can practice with the team again:

Well, you know, tomorrow’s another big day, I guess. I got my neuro-psyche test that we have to go through and assuming I pass that, I’ll be cleared and it’s just a matter of getting back in shape. I haven’t done anything for, you know, six weeks at all, so I felt a little short-winded out there because of that, and it’s going to take some time and hopefully sooner rather than later, because I’m excited that I’m feeling good and it’s playoff time.

On if he envisions himself coming back in this series:

If you ask me, yeah, I’d love to play tonight, but you know, I got to be realistic here and take the proper steps and I’m hopeful, I’m hopeful. And I can’t see these next two games, that’s for sure, but down the road maybe, it’s going to come down to a coaches’ decision and a training decision and myself, so I think I’m still a little bit of ways away obviously, like I said, I haven’t done anything in six weeks, besides work the remote on the couch, so it’s going to take some time.

On if he regained the weight he lost:

Yeah, that came back quick. I wasn’t eating much for the first 3½, four weeks and then once I got the taste buds back, definitely ate some food, but the biggest thing is I’m just happy to feel like myself again and be around the guys, especially at this exciting time, especially watching the games on TV. You know, I couldn’t sit down the last couple of days, watching the games, running around the house and you know, there were some tense times, that’s for sure, and I’m excited.

On the care he has to take when returning to game action and if his conditioning before March 7 will help in that regard:

Well, like I said, it’s going to take some time. You know, the training staff’s excellent here and every time — you know, I’ve had a tough year with injuries – and every time I’ve gotten injured, we’ve done a good of staying in shape and working on things, so I imagine nothing else than working hard and trying to get my back up to tempo, but nothing’s going to be like game and I’m sure, you know, most players this time of year, you’re going to be playing on emotion, so I think first game or two, I imagine, when I do come back that I’ll be at a high and I think that that might overcome the unconditioned part, but for sure, I want to be conditioned. I don’t want to put myself in an awkward or a bad situation. I’m sure the training staff doesn’t want me to or the coach, so it’s something I’ll need to work on.

On if he has talked to Matt Cooke:

No, we haven’t talked, but  you know, when he reached out to talk, it was one time, so I mean, I haven’t talked to him, I guess. That’s the only answer I have for that and I’m sure we’ll talk down the road.

On if he skated with a stick and puck this morning and worked on hand-eye coordination:

Thank God that part didn’t go away. I felt really good controlling the puck and shooting and I felt good in that area, that’s for sure. Even when I got tired, I was still able to work the puck pretty good so that part hasn’t left me, thank God, so hopefully it continues to keep getting better.

On if he would be able to skate with the team if he gets cleared tomorrow:

Well, I think tomorrow morning I’m going to skate by myself, because I’m not going to get the [neuro-psyche] test ‘til later on in the day, so I’m going to be skating by myself tomorrow I would imagine. I’m not 100 percent sure on that, but you know, I’d like to skate with the team, because around now, you don’t really do those battle drills down low during the playoffs because you do enough battling during the games, so we’ll see, you know, take it day by day, but right now, I feel — my trainer told me to say this — unbelievable. So I feel unbelievable.

On if he thought he would ever get to this stage:

To be honest with you, about probably — maybe two weeks ago, I kind of in my head, was writing it off, that you know, this isn’t getting better, this is terrible. I had a lot of negative thoughts, which wasn’t good and like I said, my last doctor visit you know, wasn’t the greatest because of that. I just kind of almost said to myself, you know, I think I’m done for the year, and then last Friday, I just kind of woke and said, ‘Geez, I feel pretty good, I feel normal’ and then Saturday, like I said, I went out and did some things and just started feeling like myself again and really turned a huge corner and kind of didn’t say much to anybody, just patiently kept going about my business and feeling better each day and no signs of headaches or anything. I still was a little tired, but I think that was just from getting out and doing things. Slept like a baby a couple of nights in a row there and it’s just good to feel normal again. Every day I get up, I feel normal, so I feel like myself again. I’m enjoying things. I’m excited, and like I said, hopefully it just continues.

On if at this point, he is just crossing his fingers for a return:

Yeah, I think that’s the big thing. I did this exertion test yesterday and I skated today, and they’re still monitoring how I feel throughout the day and stuff like that, so hopefully I just continue to feel good and I don’t’ get any setbacks. That’s a huge thing and you know, I’m just excited right now, especially the way the guys are playing. They’re really playing well and hopefully it continues.

On the time of his last headache:

Well, that’s what I mean, it’s been a while, so you know, nothing unnormal for at least last Friday, Thursday maybe, not the one this past, the one before that.

On if he has a goal to come back for the playoffs this year:

Yeah, that’s the goal here. I want to get back playing here as soon as possible, but like I said, there’s a lot of things you got to be sure about before that time comes and I think the biggest thing is being in game — as good of shape I can get into right now, because when you’re not in shape and … when you’re out of shape, your mental side goes down too and you put yourself in some tough situations, so I just got to make sure I’m in good enough shape to do when I do go.

On if he is prepared for the coaching staff to be extra careful in allowing him to return, like they were when Patrice Bergeron had his concussion:

Yeah, I mean, and like I said, that’s the big thing, is just monitoring this thing and making sure that I stay at 100 percent mentally and in my head and I get stronger physically. You know, so there’s two things you got to watch carefully and hopefully everything comes together as quick as it can.

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