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Pens Letang had stroke; out for 6 weeks

February 7, 2014 News Extra

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PITTSBURGH — Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will miss at least six weeks after having a stroke last week, it was announced today by Ray Shero, executive vice president and general manger.

The condition is treatable with blood thinners and at this point is not believed to be career threatening.

Further testing also revealed that Letang, 26, has had a small hole in the wall of his heart since birth. This small defect in the wall is present in all individuals before birth but seals shut in most people. It is possible that the hole in the heart 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 after six weeks of treatment by UPMC physicians.

He has been cleared to go on vacation with his family during the NHL’s Olympic break.

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