Apr 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA;Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) during the third period in game two of the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim K

© Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Concussed Bruins D McAvoy progressing but says 'my brain is out of shape'

Erin Walsh
December 01, 2018 - 10:24 pm

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy has not played an NHL game since sustaining a concussion against the Edmonton Oilers on October 18.

With a concussion comes plenty of pesky symptoms and for McAvoy it’s been about trying to reteach his brain to handle certain things.

“As far as vestibular [symptoms]goes, it’s really kind of reteaching your brain to handle certain activities that can bring on certain symptoms, like a dizziness or kind of feeling out of it, stuff like that,” said McAvoy on Saturday in his first comments since he left the lineup. “So, this is basically that concussion rehab that I alluded to, reintroducing these things to my brain.

"Actually, one of the things I heard is my brain is out of shape. So, it’s kind of teaching those things, reintroducing them, and things are going well right now.”

The 20-year-old has found his first concussionfrustrating.

“Well, it’s been an experience for me, for sure, going through it the first time, kind of learning more about it as I go,” said McAvoy. “Unfortunately, I would have loved to have not gone through it, but nonetheless, it’s been an experience for me, and I’m learning a lot of valuable things.”

There is currently no timetable on the young defenseman's return and it’s been a day-by-day recovery process.

“I think it’s one of those things you don’t really expect anything,” said McAvoy. “That’s one of the things I’ve learned is you just take it a day at a time and really just try and stay positive with these things, because it can definitely bring you down. Everyone has been good with keeping me up and keeping me in good spirits, and we’re getting there.”

“Like I said, my spirits are high, and I’m optimistic. Things are going well, and I’m starting to skate more and integrate with the team, and that’s the best part for me, because they’ve been doing a heck of a job. It’s so good to see them all again and to be skating with them back with the group.”

McAvoy said teammates like Patrice Bergeron have helped him through the recovery process.

“Obviously, my family, they’re always there for me, but just the pointers I’ve gotten from guys like Bergy and other guys on the team that have gone through concussions, Don Sweeney and all of the trainers and the doctors, they’ve kept me in great spirits, kind of acknowledging that it’s my first time, and a lot of this stuff is new to me. But it’s been an educational process for me. Things are going really well, and I’m so excited to get back with the team.”

The rookie added that there’s really nothing he could do differently to avoid another concussion.

McAvoy hopes to get back on the ice sooner rather than later.

“That’s the thing, I don’t think there’s really a magic number of practices or good days. I think it’s just following the steps, and we have a good process with the trainers and the doctors of how we’re going to approach this. Hopefully it’s sooner than later, but we’re taking it a day at a time.”

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