Czech defenseman Michael Kempny was concussed after being elbowed in the head by the Blues’ Robert Bortuzzo in a preseason game.
When Kempny left the ice after the hit, he was smiling, but he doesn’t remember why. Kempny spoke about his concussion with reporters on Tuesday in anticipation of a return against Vegas Wednesday night.
According to NHL reporter Tom Gulitti, Kempny doesn’t remember that moment, the Bortuzzo hit, or any of the preceding shift.
Kempny doesn't remember the Bortuzzo hit.
“I saw it on the video. I don’t remember the whole shift when it happened. I had a little bit of a blackout.”
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) October 7, 2018
Kempny’s full interview is here.
“First couple days was—I don’t know, I never had concussion before,” Kempny said. “I didn’t know what to expect. Some headaches and some, you know something, a little bit weird, but then I felt a little bit better every day.”
The Capitals made sure Kempny had time to recover by strictly limiting his activities.
“Yeah, it was little bit [frustrating],” Kempny said, “but I had to listen my doctor. I had probably, maybe three, four days I didn’t do anything. Then I started work out, body weights, stuff like that.”
Kempny returned to full-contact practice two weeks after receiving the concussion.
“I want to be part of the team, and I couldn’t help my teammates,” Kempny said. “It was something what I, I had to deal with it, and now I’m back. I’m really excited.”
Michal Kempny taking plenty of contact during Caps practice this morning. Had been in a non-contact jersey yesterday. Appears to be progressing toward a return on Wednesday vs. Vegas. pic.twitter.com/NEE5iSLsDz
— Roman Stubbs (@romanstubbs) October 7, 2018
Head coach Todd Reirden says that Kempny will get a jersey against the Vegas Golden Knights and return to a pairing with John Carlson.
Bortuzzo was not penalized on the play during the game, but the Department of Player Safety reviewed the play afterwards. They suspended him for the two remaining preseason games and one regular season game.
Headline photo: NHL
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