SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 26: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche in action against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on January 26, 2013 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
DENVER- Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog isn't quite ready to play after suffering a concussion nearly a month ago. He said that although he is feeling substantially better his hands, legs and lungs aren't where they need to be to get back to leading his team on the ice.
But he's close or at least he closer to being back than he's been.
"It is frustrating. It is tough, because I've been skating for a few days now and I feel pretty good out there," said Landeskog who returned to practice Tuesday. "It is a head, not a leg. You can't really put a band aid on it or anything and go out there and play. You only have one brain and you have to take care of it."
Landeskog, 20, is aware of the consequences and the delicate recovery isn't unusual. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby missed more than three months of action last season after his blow to the head, and concussion.
Although no timetable is set for the Calder Memorial Trophy winner (Rookie of the Year in 2012) it will likely be sooner rather than later when Landeskog is back to playing.
"I'm anxious to get back in the lineup to help the team and take the load off of some guys that have been playing a lot," said Landeskog. The Avalanche will take on the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night. "I'm eager to get back in there."
And when he finally does make his appearance on the ice he will be more cognizant of his surroundings. The controversial hit, despite Brad Stuart not being reprimanded by the league, has Landeskog focused. He even took part of the blame for the play.
"Watching the video again kind of strengthened my opinion that I had my head down. I didn't really see him coming. I looked up and I didn't think he was coming at that speed," Landeskog said. "You have to be smart; you should know that he's a physical player. So part of the responsibility is on me."
Landeskog remembers the collision, and was cleared by team doctors to practice after being "symptom free".
This incident will not change his physical style of play that will likely solidify the Avalanche's defense, which has give up 14 goals in the last three games.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)