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Penguins' General Manager Craig Patrick Speaking on Mario Lemieux's Health

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Mario saw the doctor today. They are going to try to get the right level of medication that he needs and he is going to be on an off-ice conditioning program for the next ten days to two weeks and he will be re-evaluated after that.

Q: Is that the problem, they think that it was just the wrong dosage of medication?

A: Well they don’t – medicine is not an exact science. You’ve got to test things and try them and they’re in the process now. Obviously, he came back a little too soon. We’ll get the right level of medication, the right level of conditioning and then he’ll be re-evaluated as to when he’ll get back on the ice.

Q:  No question, he won’t be back before 10 days?

A: My personal opinion, and again the doctors have a lot of say in this, but my personal opinion is he came back too soon this time, so why rush it? Let’s do it the right way and make sure he’s ready when he comes back.

Q:  I guess if anything the benefit is with only one game in nine days there’s not that pressure for him to feel like he has to…

A: Yeah, that’s the one thing we have to be careful of – him feeling the pressure; putting it on himself to get back on the ice. We have to calm him down from here on out. We’ve got to make sure its right. We just have to not listen to him this time and say, “No Mario, not until we say you’re ready.”

Q:  I’m sure this has to be a scare, not just from a player perspective but as a friend. This has to be a scare to see your guy go through this.

A: Well anybody. I hate to see anybody have a heart problem, especially when your heart is a big part of what you do. It’s tough to see that.

Q:  Do they have any idea what causes this? Is it stress related? Is this just the way his heart is?

A: They don’t know. They don’t know the answer to that. We have equipment now that if it does start to act up there will be somebody with him when he is training all the time and if it does act up they’ll put a monitor on him right away so they can maybe eventually find out what causes it.

Q: Since the third period of the Friday night game, he’s not experienced it again?

A: I haven’t asked him that.

Q: Frustrating for him, I would imagine?

A: Imagine your heart acting up of you. It would be pretty scary and frustrating. You’d worry about every step you take.

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