Kris Letang to play first game on Wednesday since suffering stroke

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Kris Letang last played before the Olympic break. (Getty Images)
Kris Letang last played before the Olympic break. (Getty Images)

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After suffering a stroke two months ago, Kris Letang is back with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their top defenseman will play on Wednesday night against Detroit.

Though many including Letang himself feared he wouldn't be able to return this season after his terrifying incident, Letang was physically cleared to play last week, all of a sudden making it seem certain he would play in the postseason. He's doing it one better, getting some time to get readjusted before the playoffs even start.

Following his clearence the call was left up to Letang and of course he wanted back in.

In the examination of Letang's stroke it was also discovered that he has a small hole in his heart but there was no indication whether or not that had anything to do with the stroke, easing some concerns.

As to any potential for another stroke because of his day job, that's not a concern.

This news is a boon for the Penguins in the final week of the regular season. Not only does it give Letang some time to get his legs back before the real season begins but it gives them their top player on the blue line and their best puck-mover. No doubt the Penguins are a much better team with Letang on the ice than without him.

Before the stroke Letang was having a down season offensively with 10 goals and 8 assists (though in only 34 games) compared to the 38 points he had in 35 games last season when he was a Norris finalist.

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