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Eaves still battles post-concussion headaches

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Patrick Eaves is still battling post-concussion symptoms from a head injury that he suffered against Nashville on Nov. 26. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
Three months after he was struck in the head by a fast-moving puck, Patrick Eaves continues to deal with concussion-like symptoms, including daily headaches.

The veteran forward was at Joe Louis Arena Thursday morning and spoke exclusively to The Wheel Deal blog in the Red Wings’ dressing room.

“I’m dealing with a lot of headaches right now, but yeah, it’s getting better, slowly,” said Eaves, who had one assist in 10 games before the injury. “I have one pretty much all of the time.”

Eaves, 27, suffered a broken jaw when he was hit on the right side of the head while trying to block a high-rising slap shot by Nashville’s Roman Josi on Nov. 26.

Two days later, he had surgery to fix his fractured jaw.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said last week that there’s no timetable attached to Eaves’ return, saying, “We’re going to be real conservative with him.”

Now that the jaw has fully recovered, Eaves has tried to regain some physical activity, but certainly nothing close to levels that he’s used to. And he’s only put the skates on once, which was more therapeutic than anything, he said.

“Yeah, it definitely helps to come down here and do the same routine that I was accustomed to,” he said. “I can cruise on the bike a little bit, but nothing too crazy.”

Originally assessed as a “jaw” injury, Eaves can certainly now be added to the growing list of NHL players who have sustained serious head trauma this season. Concussions have decimated the league with the likes of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Ottawa’s Milan Michalek, Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger and St. Louis’ Andy McDonald, among others, all being sidelined.

The Flyers have already announced that Pronger will miss the rest of the season and playoffs, but the future for Eaves remains cloudy.

“I just have to take time to let the brain heal,” Eaves said.

Asked about the next steps in his recovery, Eaves said, “I’m not sure. It’s just see how the symptoms come and go.”

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