Taylor Hall is feeling better.
And while the Edmonton Oilers winger is still not ready to get back in the lineup, the fact he hasn’t been suffering post-concussion-type symptoms is encouraging.
Regardless, the Oilers are not going to take any chances with their franchise player.
“We’re going to follow protocol, no question,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “There are steps in place for us to follow and allow the medical people to give us the right information, we’re not going to guess on this.
“At the end of the day, we have a number of games left and he could participate in a number of those if he feels healthy. But we won’t pretend to know it all, we’ll allow our medical people to help Taylor walk himself through this and make an informed decision.”
Hall suffered a concussion Friday after being run over by Calgary Flames defenceman Cory Sarich.
Hall lost consciousness momentarily before heading off the ice and missing the rest of the contest.
“I feel good, I feel pretty much normal,” Hall said on Sunday. “I don’t remember too much about the hit. I wasn’t feeling great that night, but (Saturday) I felt fine and (Sunday) I feel even better. I’m just taking it day-by-day and hopefully (Monday) I feel the same.
“I’ve never been knocked out or anything like that before. It’s pretty scary for me, it’s pretty scary for the people around me. But I’m glad that I’m OK now.”
Hall said he wasn’t suffering headaches nor is he bothered by bright lights, which are associated with post-concussion symptoms.
He met with the medical staff Sunday and will have a better idea of a timeline on his return within the next few days.
His first step is riding the stationary bike to see how his head reacts to physical exertion. From there, he’ll get back to practicing, eventually taking part in contact drills.
“If I feel like I do (Sunday), I don’t see why I can’t come back in a reasonable amount of time,” Hall said. “With a concussion there is no set timeline. It’s not like you’re out two to four weeks or three to six weeks. It’s whenever you feel good and don’t have symptoms and I don’t have symptoms and I feel good and I’ll just play it from there.”
This is the first concussion of Hall’s career. He was hit by Sarich just after losing an edge while looking to play the puck that was rimmed around the boards.
“I lost an edge and I don’t know if it hurt or helped me regarding the hit,” Hall said. “I did think he was going to come, because they had three guys caught down low and I didn’t think Cory Sarich was going to be the one to pinch. It’s a weird play and I just have to keep my head up and know that, that guy is coming. I just didn’t expect him to come like that.
“I’m not too sure if it was the hit to the head or when I knocked my head on the ice afterwards. There is about a five-second timeline where I don’t really remember. That’s the scary part, but I’m glad I’m ok now and I feel back to normal.”
This is the third time this season Hall has been injured and has been forced to miss games.
He separated his shoulder earlier this year, then had a freak injury during a warm-up when defenceman Cory Potter stepped on his head.
Hall is currently the Oilers second-leading scorer with 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points on the season.
“Every time I’ve gotten hurt, I’ve missed games and it’s come at a time where I feel I’ve been playing really good hockey,” he said. “I scored four games in a row before this and then I got hurt. The previous two times, I thought I was also playing well. It’s tough, but that’s the way sports are and you have to get over it.”