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Transcript: Patrice Bergeron, Jan. 9, 2009

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
Forward, Patrice Bergeron

On how he is feeling...
I am feeling a lot better. I mean, for the last five or six days I’ve been having some great days and no headaches so it’s been good. Obviously I’m still taking it day by day and not looking to far ahead, but so far I’m feeling good.

On what happened and what it has been like trying to recover...
Well, I obviously, as everyone knows, I had a concussion and it’s been tough, it’s been frustrating to work my way back from last year. I was starting to feel a lot better on the ice and now that hit happened, but I’m trying to stay positive and now that the tough stretch is behind me, I am feeling a lot better. I am obviously very positive about how I am feeling especially also knowing that I have to talk to the doctors and knowing that by the type of hit, right on the jaw like that, it has nothing to do with last year’s hit. They said it would have happened to almost anyone with a hit like that on the jaw.

On being an odd injury to get from a hit to the jaw...
I’m not the first one who gets a concussion from a hit on the jaw. So obviously I would have preferred something to the jaw instead of a concussion probably but, I mean, my jaw is fine. It was sore for a couple of days, but now I’m good, I’m just looking forward to getting better each and every day.

On his thoughts about his injury immediately after it happened...
Well, not right away because right away I was kind of, I was really dizzy and wasn’t really thinking about much. But looking back to it, yeah, a couple days after, like I said, I was frustrated, a little down, but now that I’m feeling better, like I said, I’m positive and I’m looking forward and taking it day by day.

On having a date to get back on the ice...
Not yet. Obviously there’s all the doctors and neurologists and also the Bruins trainers that are with me. There’s a big team with me, helping me out, so I’m following their orders. They’ve been great with me last year so I know they are doing the right thing. So for me right now it is really taking it day by day and see what happens.

On a sense that this injury is different than last year...
Yeah, totally, I mean they’ve [the doctors] said it, but I can also feel it. I feel a lot better and I mean I’m talking to you guys, it’s been a little less than three weeks and I’m feeling good. Like I said, it’s not even close from last year and it’s not even related so I am very happy about that.

On his workout...
Well, as far as a workout goes, like I said, I am taking it day by day and right now I am riding the bike and I am just trying to see if I get any symptoms with increasing my heart rate and stuff like that so right now I’m about 25-30 minutes with the bike or on the elliptical with my heart rate about 145 beats per minute to 150 so I’m very happy about that and the trainers and doctors are also. So, so far, like I said, we’re taking it day by day and I don’t want to look too far ahead, don’t want to get disappointed by stepping back so I want to take it day by day improving everyday and feeling good.

On being relieved or excited about his progress in getting healthy...
Yeah I am. I would like to be on the ice right now and skate and be playing with the guys and not having to talk to you guys and not talk about any concussion issues, but it happened and now I’m optimistic. I’m very happy and I’m feeling better almost everyday so it’s good.

On how his teammates feel...
They’re behind me, they’ve also showed a lot of support and they’ve done a lot last year, they did it again this year. And they’ve seen me around the locker room and they know that I am feeling a lot better so they’re supporting me, but at the same time they know that I’m good.

On the emotional impact it has had on him...
I’ve worked so hard to get back and I was starting to feel a lot better with my game and that hit happened and so to go down again with a concussion it’s really frustrating, but like I said, it was the only first week that I was really kind of thinking about that and I was down and a little negative, but now that I’ve improved, I’m not thinking about that. I’m looking forward.

On emotional toll this has taken on his family...
Yeah, it was hard for them. They were actually at home, back home in Quebec and they saw the hit, they were watching the game. You know, it’s tough for them so I had to kind of after a couple days tell them that I’m feeling better. They came down, my parents are here, well, they’re gone, but they came down for after the hit. My brother and my girlfriend were here too so I mean obviously tough for my family, but they’re always supporting me and helping me get through this.

On knowing what to expect because he went through this last year...
Yeah, a little bit, I mean I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned from last year is to take it day by day, don’t look to far ahead and don’t get, because if I do, I might get disappointed. If I say that I’ll skate in two weeks or one week and I don’t I mean, I’m obviously going to be disappointed so I want to take it day by day, follow the orders from the doctors and trainers and really try to improve, but also rest and don’t try to do too much when you do feel better because sometimes it can set you back.

On fear about getting back on the ice...
No, not at all. I said that last year through the same thing. I came back and I wasn’t scared at all. I mean it’s the same thing, it’s the type of hit you know it happened and there’s not much you can do about it and I’m going to go back out there and play my game. I think that’s about all that I can say.

On what he was trying to do during that play...
I was actually trying to play to, well force the red line, on [Dennis] Seidenberg and just try to force him to get rid of the puck but… I guess I kind of turned at the wrong moment you know? He kind of got me right on the jaw, but it’s the kind of play I’m going to do 20 times and it’s never going to hit me on the jaw like that so you know it’s I guess an accident, but it’s a tough one to take when you go down for so far nine or 10 games. You have a concussion. That’s how I was trying to look at it; I was trying to play the red line.

On hearing from Seidenberg…
No I haven’t heard from him. I mean it’s not the play, I mean yes you do feel bad when the player goes down but there’s not too much you had to do. You just kept skating. It’s not the type of hit that was kind of a cheap shot, not at all, not even close to that. So he didn’t try to reach me, but he played his game.

On playing again this season...
Yeah, I’m very confident I will play this year. It’s a matter of when, but that’s why I don’t want to put a date on anything and get disappointed like I was last year in the playoffs. So I’ve learned from that, but yes, I do think I’ll be back.

On being tough having to watch his team doing so well this season...
Yeah it is, but at the same time when your team is winning you’re happy. So I’m happy for all the guys; they’re playing well. I would love to be out there and help them, but they’re doing a tremendous job and everyone is pulling together and it’s fun to watch.

On research on concussion treatment...
Yeah, its, part of it is, yeah, symptoms are gone and try to work my way back, but also I mean, we’re looking at things that could help with concussions. Right now there’s not much that doctors know. We all know that a mouthpiece helps. I do wear mouthpieces or anything else better, we were looking into that, helmets, all that stuff, you know, might have to work with Reebok to see about changing some stuff on the helmet. I don’t know, I really have no idea, but so far it’s really about me feeling good and trying to get better and take it from there.

On what was going through his mind when he was being taken off the ice...
I don’t know. Not much. After, I mean, off the ice, I was more I guess, like I said, frustrated, sad I guess from having to go through this all over again. A little fear from what happened last year, right away when the hit happened I mean you’re like ‘oh geez’ is that the same thing all over again. But, like I said, after a week, maybe a week and a half, I realized it wasn’t even close to last year. I was going to feel a lot better quicker.

On symptoms being the same as last year...
The first few days, yeah, the first week and a half I had headaches, nauseau, dizziness and that’s about it. Just feeling very sleepy. Had to sleep a lot and yeah, that’s about it.

On symptoms being the same severity as last year...
No, it wasn’t even close. That kind of helped me kind of knowing that it wasn’t close from last year and that it wasn’t going to be that bad, but it’s still hard to have to go through that feeling again and it’s a tough feeling because you can’t do much and you have to go and rest and you never know when the headaches are going to be there so it’s kind of not a good feeling.

On having any setbacks in training...
So far I’ve felt pretty good because we took it pretty easy. We didn’t want to, I didn’t want to go out there, go on the bike and have a set back so we took from five minutes to barely spinning the legs to now up to 25, 30 minutes so I really haven’t had any setbacks, no.

On headaches being completely gone...
Yeah.

On building back muscle last year and will that be a problem again...
I don’t see it being as bad because I don’t see myself taking as long to, it’s not even close from last year. Last year I was out for I think seven to eight months without doing anything. I lost 15 pounds. So obviously it was hard to get my muscles and all my strength back, but I mean it’s not even close. I might be 2 pounds lighter than I was when the hit happened so I’m kind of keeping the same weight so I don’t think it’s going to be as hard.
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