Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik resumed skating Friday morning. He took the ice with other injured teammates. Less than a week ago, Orpik was being wheeled off the ice at TD Garden after being knocked unconscious by Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton.
In addition to Scuderi and Glass....Brooks Orpik is on the ice this morning. -DP pic.twitter.com/qXsaSwSJ5H— ROOT SPORTS™ | PIT (@ROOTSPORTSPIT) December 13, 2013
After such a scary scene, it must be a good thing for the Pens to see Orpik back on the ice. With the defense already depleted with injuries to Rob Scuderi and Paul Martin , the blue line was looking awfully thin in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins confirmed Orpik suffered a concussion after Thornton's attack. So just because Orpik is skating doesn't mean he'll be back right away, but it is a good sign. It sounds like the Penguins will be taking things slow with him, however.
Bylsma: Brooks Orpik had a light exercise on the ice as part of his protocol. He still is symptomatic at this time.— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) December 13, 2013
Thornton meanwhile awaits a 1 p.m. ET hearing with the NHL's department of player safety today out of which he is expected to receive a lengthy, message-sending suspension.
Orpik's return to the ice may have some bearing on the hearing, however, as severity of injury and presumed length of time missed by the injured player always seems to be a factor. That could lead to a delay in a final decision on Thornton's suspension.
There is still plenty to be sorted out. As is so often the case, a concussion recovery timeline is ever changing. Either way, Orpik has taken a positive step after what was a rather troubling incident.