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At the Skate: Tuesday, February 08

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
On the day of the Islanders home game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Islanders had an optional skate at Nassau Coliseum. While a few players opted not to skate, it was a good sign for the Isles as both Blake Comeau and Nathan Lawson took the ice with the team for the first time since their injuries.

This is what Islanders interim head coach Jack Capuano said about Lawson:
“He’s coming a long pretty well. He’s starting to skate now and I don’t know exactly when he’ll be cleared (for game action), but he’s getting close.”

After taking the hit from Maxime Talbot on Feb. 1, Comeau continued to play without missing a shift. It wasn't until the next day that he realized something was wrong, but he rode the bike yesterday and was symptom free so that's why he skated this morning. He said he feels good and he's hoping to return to the lineup soon.

This is what Comeau had to say:
"I didn't think there was anything alarming so I kept playing,” Comeau said. “The next day I started practicing and then one morning I got off because I was getting a bit of a headache, it was getting worse and getting a little foggy so I didn't want to take any chances."

On realizing he had the concussion:
"No, that's why I didn't really know what it was or what to expect. That one day in practice when I got the headache and a little foggy, I decided to get off just to not take any risks. It's something that I don't want to play around with."

On taking advice from teammates and friends who have suffered concussions before:
"I have friends who all said the same thing and they said not to mess around with it and to be 100 percent sure. I think that's one of the good things about the concussion is the awareness that the guys now have around the league and how guys are taking the right precautions."

On if getting a concussion makes him nervous after seeing other players across the league suffer lasting symptoms:

"It does, especially when you have a headache and you're not sure how long it's going to last or when it's going to go away. The thing with concussions is that it doesn't show up on MRI's or anything like that. It's more that you just have to wait it out. I'm lucky enough where it's not going to hold me out for as long as those guys (Marc Savard, Sidney Crosby), but it's definitely something you don't want to play around with."
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