Kris Letang’s injury ravaged NHL season became more serious on Friday.
General manager Ray Shero, through a news release, announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman suffered a stroke last week and would be sidelined at least six weeks.
While the Penguins aren’t sure when the 26-year-old Letang would play again this season, his latest ailment doesn’t appear to be career threatening as the condition is treatable with blood thinners.
“I hope that by making my condition public at this time, I can help other people by encouraging them to seek medical help if they experience some of the symptoms associated with a stroke, regardless of their age or general health,” Letang said in a statement.
Further testing determined the Montreal native has had a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth that may have led to the stroke.
The small defect in the wall is present in all individuals prior to birth but seals shut for most.
Letang hasn’t taken the ice since Jan. 30 when he practised but didn’t play against the Kings in Los Angeles.
Besides the four games he has missed with this latest health issue, Letang has not played in 19 contests because of a strained right knee and infection left elbow, which required a medical procedure in December.