Yes I am behind in this news. That’s what happens when news breaks during the pregame of a game you are attending.
In case you haven’t heard, Eric and Jordan Staal spoke about their brother before they lost to his teammates last night. They brought some good news and some not as good news.
First, the good news. Marc is expected to make a full recovery and has been doing better recently. So much better that he was in the building last night as seen in the picture above. I have never been so happy to see that beautiful face. (Side note: I say “beautiful” in the sense that it was one I recognized. After watching that play, I wasn’t sure if I was going to recognize him the next time I saw him.) Jordan stated that the swelling had gone down and that he was chirping all night while Eric mentioned it was good he didn’t lose teeth since their parents paid a lot for braces. (Why do you bother with braces for hockey players?) The fact that they were able to joke about it and it sounds like Marc was as well, has to be a good sign.
Now the not so good news. Remember that rumor last week that he was roughly 2-3 weeks away? Yeah, I don’t think it was true. According to his brothers, while the bruise above his eye has almost healed, he was still dealing with “some fractures” and his vision is not 100%. Fractures can heal so I’m not totally worried about that. Sometimes they take longer than we want to heal, but they heal. The second part scares the crap out of me. That said, we have no idea what his vision currently is at. It could be at 95% and just needs a couple more weeks to adjust after everything else heals. Or it could be a lot worse than that. I have no idea so I won’t speculate. But the fact that his vision isn’t 100% is just plain scary.
There was also the visor discussion. Jordan says he think Marc will wear one when he returns (I’m guessing he will have to per doctors’ orders for at least a little bit) but the other two aren’t sure what they are going to do as “Staals can be stubborn”. I love how they admit it was hard to watch their brother get hurt (Jordan still hasn’t watched the play) and yet they don’t think a visor is necessary. I don’t want to start this discussion now nor am I saying where I stand on it but really? The comments they made on this just continued to contradict each other.
Thanks to Andrew Gross, you can read the full transcript from Eric and Jordan here. (They also mention about the dinner the family had Sunday night. Sounded like a fun time which I’m sure is just what Marc needed.)
Gross also had this nugget from after the game:
Ran into Marc Staal as he left the Garden tonight – he came down to the Zamboni ramp to meet his brothers, Eric and Jordan, along with their parents, Henry and Linda. Staal still has some discoloration on his face but no swelling is apparent. No formal interviews or quotes or anything like that, just a quick shake of his hand to wish him well. It was his first time back in the Garden since getting hit above his right eye on March 5. He spent the game up in a suite.
For me, seeing him at the Garden was the first step. I’m not delusional to think he will be back next week. I want him back next week but the fact that we are even discussing when he will be back is better than everyone originally thought. Let him take his time. Yes the team needs him. But they need him healthy. And if that means he doesn’t play until September, that’s fine by me. Honestly, it’s better than some of the other options.