Chris Drury To Skate in First Game Since Concussion

Rob CristinoCorrespondent INovember 25, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 05:  Chris Drury #23 of the New York Rangers skates for the puck during the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 5, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Hopefully the New York Rangers and Chris Drury know what they’re doing.

Concussions are a very serious issue in not only hockey, but sports in general, and it’s never good for a player to rush back after sustaining such a dangerous blow to the head. There have been way too many athletes who have had careers end because of concussions.

The plan is for Drury, who has been symptom free for about a week, to play against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night; his first game back since sustaining a concussion from a blind-side hit by Calgary Flames’ Curtis Glencross on Nov. 7.

Drury feels ready to get back in the action, but is it too soon? After all, he's only missed five games this season.

That’s the plan, at least, but anything can change, especially since this wasn’t his first concussion.

"Barring anything, I would assume I’ll be in," Drury said to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants on Tuesday. "I don't anticipate any issues."

Obviously Drury has been cleared by doctors, otherwise this wouldn’t even be a discussion, but Rangers fans know how easy it is for players to receive a second and third concussion.

Look at the careers of Pat LaFontaine, Mike Richter, Jeff Beukeboom, and Eric Lindros, players who have all had concussions end their careers.

Is it the right move or should the Rangers have waited just a little bit longer before bringing back their captain?

"If I don't think he's able to play in a certain situation, I'll rest him," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "But he's going full-bore against Florida."

Perhaps if the Rangers were playing the type of hockey that led to their 7-1 start, Drury would still be recovering, but because of their recent play, he felt the need to come back sooner.

Along with a majority of the Rangers, Drury has struggled at the start of the 2009-10 season. In 18 games played, he has just six points (two goals and four assists). But even if most Rangers fans won’t admit it, Drury has been missed, at least in the faceoff circle.

One thing's for sure, having Drury take a faceoff will be much better than making Christopher Higgins or Ryan Callahan take it.

Maybe Drury's return to the ice will transfer into something positive for the team.