SUN Hockey Pool

Staios still clearing cobwebs

Oilers defenceman Steve Staois is still trying to get over the after-effects of a concussion....

Oilers defenceman Steve Staois is still trying to get over the after-effects of a concussion. (Darryl Dyck/SUN MEDIA)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:59 PM ET

EDMONTON -- Steve Staios felt like he was stuck in Groundhog Day, and every morning was a wicked New Years Day hangover that wouldn’t go away.

Knocked out of Edmonton’s lineup with a concussion two games into the season, he’s been trying to free himself from the cobwebs ever since.

“The first 10 days that I took off were not very good at all, I had some really rough days,” said the Oilers defenceman, who felt well enough, finally, to skate for the first time yesterday,

“I’m glad I’m past those because they were tough. Walking, around in a fog, you don’t feel crisp. That hangover feeling all day.

“It was a little bit concerning at some points, but you try not to make too much of it and hope the next day was a good day.”

But for the better part of two weeks, it wasn’t. Day-to-day has turned into three weeks and counting.

“You couldn’t do anything, your day to day life was affected,” he said. “There were days there where you feel really down. I always try and keep a positive outlook, but there were days where that was really difficult to do. I’ve never really gone through anything like this. I’ve been hit before but been able to recover.”

There were times when he thought past the next game and wondered if this is something that might impact him later in life, but he was quick to squash those thoughts.

“If you take the time to reflect, this is what I choose to do and there are some dangers and risks to it,” he said. “I have a young family and for a second you do start to think like that.

“I don’t think I’m in that (long term effects) situation. I’m confident that I’m going to come back 100 per cent... I just can’t tell you when that’s going to be.”

Being able to skate does wonders for his spirit, though.

“I’ve had a few good days here in a row so I put my gear on and snuck out for the morning skate. It was fun to be out there with the guys again. “You can cope better when you start seeing some progression.”

But with concussions, a relapse is only one night’s sleep away. Sheldon Souray met with Pat Quinn before Tuesday’s game with Colorado and said he felt really good. Yesterday the headaches returned and he couldn’t even come to the rink.

So Staios remains guardedly optimistic.

“It’s progressed over the last five or six days really well,” he said. “I’m trying not to get too excited or too far ahead of myself because it’s something that if you don’t respect it, you can set yourself back.

“Going out there for a morning skate is one thing, it’s a good step forward, but there’s still some things that I have to prove to them before I can get back out there.

“Most injuries you can kind of push through. This one is a little different, you have to pull back a little. If you’re not smart about it you can do some real damage.”

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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