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Penguins Letang out indefinitely after suffering stroke

By: WJAC Web Staff

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will be out indefinitely after suffering a stroke last week, team officials have announced.

Penguins Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero said Letang may miss at least six weeks and that Letang's condition is treatable with blood thinners and is not believed to be career-threatening.

Shero said further testing revealed the 26-year-old Letang had a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth and that hole may have led to the stroke.

"Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week," Shero said. "We held him out of the Los Angeles game Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week."

Letang will be re-evaluated in six weeks by team physicians, Shero said. He's been cleared to go on vacation with his family during the NHL's Olympic break.

"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. "It obviously was a shock to get the news but Im optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice."

Shero said the most important thing at the moment is Letang's health and getting him the best treatment possible.

Letang has 10 goals and 18 points in 34 games this season. In 419 career games over seven seasons he has 54 goals and 227 points.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times