Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis was on the ice for team practice Monday afternoon at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry after being held out of the team’s weekend games as a precaution due to experiencing symptoms of a blood clot.
“(Dupuis) had a test this morning and was cleared to practice so that’s obviously a positive sign,” head coach Mike Johnston said.
Although he was back on the ice, there is still one more hurdle before he can return to the lineup, though things are looking positive for him playing Wednesday night against Montreal.
“There is one more (test) tomorrow,” he said. “But I should be all good to go.”
Last Friday Dupuis experienced symptoms that could have been related to his past issues with a blood clot in his leg, which ended his 2014-15 season after 16 games and put him on blood thinners for six months.
“It was something I saw on my leg that didn’t seem right,” Dupuis said of the recent symptom. “We play a contact sport, I blocked a shot or got slashed. Everything happens so fast that I don’t even remember how it happened. I just had to make sure.”
Dupuis alerted the medical staff of the issue. Taking extra precautions due to his history, the medical staff pulled him from that evening’s game in Edmonton and sent him to the hospital for immediate testing.
Dupuis’ tests were negative for a blood clot and following his follow-up test in Pittsburgh this morning he was cleared to practice.
“Everything went well this morning,” Dupuis said. “We got everything done before practice. I got a chance to get out there and skate.”
Last season Dupuis experienced the blood clot and did not report it to the medical staff for sometime so that he could continue playing. Although he made a promise to his family this year to be smarter with his health.
“I remember what I did last year and not speaking up for what happened and how I felt,” Dupuis said. “It’s something I promised my wife and kids that I would never do again. Something didn’t add up so I spoke up. That’s why I didn’t play the last two games.”
Every time Dupuis experiences any symptoms of a blood clot the team will be cautious and always make his health their top priority. They’ll be extra sensitive in all situations. So this may be just the first of a few times where Dupuis is held out for testing.
“It will be something that I’ll have to go through a couple of times during the season if something happens,” Dupuis said.
Dupuis was released from the hospital in Edmonton and greeted his teammates after they came off the ice of their 2-1 victory over the Oilers.
Following victories the Pens’ award a “Gladiator” style helmet to the game’s MVP. Center Nick Bonino gave the helmet to Dupuis after the win in Edmonton, showing how beloved he is in the locker room.
“Hopefully, I’ll get it for playing a hockey game next time and not because I missed one,” Dupuis joked.