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NHL Penguins All-Star Letang Has Stroke, Out at Least Six Weeks

Kris Letang
Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star defenseman Kris Letang skates against the Buffalo Sabres at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Jan. 27, 2014. Photographer: Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star defenseman Kris Letang will miss at least six weeks of the National Hockey League season after suffering a stroke.

Letang, 26, was held out of a game last week because of nausea and dizziness, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said today in a statement on the team’s website. When Letang continued to feel ill last weekend, further testing revealed the stroke.

“The most important thing right now, of course, is Kris’s health,” Shero said. “We’re not thinking about hockey right now.”

Letang will be re-evaluated after six weeks of treatment. The condition, which is treatable with blood thinners, isn’t believed to be career-threatening.

“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 I’m optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice.”

Letang was a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman after last year’s lockout-shortened season, when he had 33 assists, more than anyone else at the position. He has 10 goals and eight assists in 34 games this year.

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