Stoll is good to go

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

Deep inside, Jarret Stoll knew he would play hockey again.

It was just a matter of when.

"I never thought it was as serious as some people said - career-ending or anything like that," the Edmonton Oilers forward said yesterday. "It definitely crosses your mind when you're sitting out a month, two months, three months and you miss 30 games.

"But it's good to have this time off and let things heal properly and not have it linger into next year or the following year."

Stoll, 24, has his season cut short after suffering a pair of concussions in late January. He missed the last 30 regular-season games which was one of a number of reasons the wheels fell off the Oilers.

On Monday, he was given the green light to start more intensive workouts, and he should be ready to go by the time training camp rolls around in September.

"I feel good enough to get out there right now if we were still playing," Stoll said.

"Things like conditioning might be an issue, but I have the time now to get back in shape and be ready to go for training camp."

Stoll suffered his initial concussion when drilled into the boards by Anaheim Ducks centre Samuel Pahlsson on Jan. 18. He sat out the following game, but returned to play in the next three.

He suffered his second concussion against the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 1 and did not play for the remainder of the season.

"I talked to the doctor (Monday) and everything looks good," Stoll said.

"I feel good - that's the main thing. I feel good and fresh. The symptoms have gone away. I'll still ease into it a little bit as we get going. It's a long summer, and I think that's what we needed to allow us to get ready for a much better season next year."

Stoll had a number of setback as he attempted a return to the Oilers lineup before ventually pulling the plug on what was shaping up as a career season.

"If you have symptoms, there's still something wrong," Stoll said. "Once you go through a workout, sometimes those symptoms come back, and that was the problem during the season.

"I would try to work out, try to skate and I'd have symptoms come back, whether it was headaches or dizziness, or losing my focus and stuff like that.

"That kind of stuff is now totally gone. I can have a normal conversation with someone now."

Stoll has started light workouts with a trainer in California. As training camp draws closer, the workouts are expected to increase in intensity.

"Once I get going and get into that routine, it'll be a lot easier to get to the gym," Stoll said.

"As you keep working out, you get more energy and feel better about yourself every day. I don't think it'll take too long to get back in game shape."

Considering Stoll finished fourth in team scoring despite missing over a quarter of the season, the Oilers are relieved to know he'll be returning.

It's also a weight off Stoll's shoulders.

"A normal concussion is a week, two weeks or three weeks maybe at most," he said.

"When you're out for two months, it crosses your mind that this might be career-ending. But it's something that you can't let it get you down mentally. You have to get it in your head that you're going to get better, you're going to feel better and that you just need time.

"And time is what I've got right now."


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