New York Rangers forward Rick Nash (head) will return to practice Wednesday, coach Alain Vigneault told reporters Tuesday prior to a game against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.
“With concussions, you never know," Vigneault said. "He’s made some big strides and, hopefully, he’ll continue on a daily basis to make strides.
"Since I've seen him on the ice before practice, every day I've asked how he's doing and today I got the call after the morning's skate that he was going to join the team tomorrow. I didn't ask [about contact], I was just told he was going to skate with the boys."
Nash will start as an extra defenseman and be moved to a line once he's regained his conditioning.
Out since Oct. 8 when he was hit in the head by Brad Stuart of the San Jose Sharks, Nash skated Tuesday morning for the fourth straight day, taking part in an hour-long optional skate with Cam Talbot, Brandon Mashinter, Justin Falk and Dominic Moore, who is working his way back from oblique injury.
"[I am] symptom-free from the injury. Just [need to] push myself more and more and see if any symptoms come back from it. But so far it's been good," Nash said. "I've been in touch with the doctors the whole time during this injury, and with the trainers. We'll keep them in the loop. It's just kind of day-by-day and see how I feel."
Tuesday is the 15th straight game Nash will have sat out. He confirmed a visit to Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, a concussion specialist and associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.
"He's a specialist at what he does," Nash said. "He sees them every single day so it was important for him to be on the same page [with team doctors]."
The Rangers have won six of their past seven games. Nash said he first plans on addressing any and all issues off the ice.
"When you look at it, New York has invested a lot in me and I've invested a lot in them," he said. "I think even if we were losing it would be stupid to rush back. It's a long-term contract and we want to make sure I come back at 110 percent and ready to play."