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|15 февраля 2003
Devils: Tverdovsky makes his point - Star-Ledger
BY RICH CHERE
Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky may be recovering from a head injury, but it hasn't clouded his judgment enough to risk getting into a debate with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello.
Biting his tongue in an effort to keep the peace with Devils management, Tverdovsky yesterday stated bluntly that he has been diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome by neurologist Karen Johnston. At the same time, he refused to comment about Lamoriello's insistence that there has been no medical proof of a concussion.
"I'm not here to discuss that. I can't really get into it right now," Tverdovsky said at South Mountain Arena in West Orange, where he worked out on a stationary bike for the third straight day. "He's talked to Dr. Johnston. I can't control (what he said). The point is, I've felt all those symptoms -- headaches, dizziness, nausea."
The Devils, who face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Continental Airlines Arena, could get right winger Brian Gionta back if coach Pat Burns believes he is ready after just one workout with the team. Gionta has missed 19 games with a fractured right fibula suffered Jan. 3. However, Tverdovsky, who has missed 13 consecutive games and 20 of 25, has yet to begin skating.
"I feel pretty good right now," said Tverdovsky, who was examined by Johnston in Montreal in mid-January. "I'm just starting to work out slowly. I'll see how I feel. I spoke to guys who felt like I did and they recommended I see a neurologist because there was nothing else wrong with me. I went to a neurologist, Dr. Johnston, and she diagnosed me with post-concussion syndrome. Since then, I've been treated for such.
"They told me to rest and have a walk, but I couldn't do any physical activities. I could drive (a car) once in a while, but not on a consistent basis."
Asked if he thought Lamoriello tried to hide a head injury, Tverdovsky said: "I don't think he's trying to hide it. That wouldn't be in his interest."
Lamoriello had said Wednesday that the Devils, at Johnston's request, have been treating Tverdovsky as if he had a head injury.
Tverdovsky denied suggestions that his absence has been prolonged while hoping to be traded.
"If I wanted a trade, wouldn't it be best for me to play?" he asked. "Injured people usually don't get traded."
He said he has not asked to be traded.
"No, I haven't," he said. "Why would I want a trade? I just came from a team (that missed the playoffs). Why would I want to go somewhere else?"
Gionta, meanwhile, was hopeful of playing against the Pens.
"At this point, I can't wait. It's been six weeks," Gionta said. "It's pretty much a coach's decision. I feel pretty good. No pain. My timing is a little off, but that will come."
Burns would like to use Gionta in place of Turner Stevenson, who will sit out the game with a strained left knee after not skating yesterday.
"This is the first time (Gionta) had contact," Burns said. "He looked
all right. We'll see how he feels."