Word comes from John Glennon this afternoon that Nashville Predators captain Jason Arnott will miss his third straight game tonight vs. Phoenix, after tumbling to the ice and suffering a head injury against Columbus last Saturday.
The timeline with this story is extremely troubling - follow after the jump for how this story has progressed over the course of the week...
#19 / Center / Nashville Predators
Oct 11, 1974
|2009 - Jason Arnott||61||18||26||44||-1||26||6||0||3||0||210||8.6|
The following quotes come from Glennon's blog:
Sunday, March 21: "Arnott suffered a head injury in the third period on Saturday when he hit the ice after getting tangled up with Columbus forward Samuel Pahlsson. He didn't return to the game and needed stitches to close a cut near his left eye. It's uncertain whether or not Arnott has a concussion, but he has had concussion problems in the past."
Monday, March 22: "Preds coach Barry Trotz is saying that center Jason Arnott is probable for Tuesday's game against Dallas... Arnott suffered a head injury on Saturday against Columbus, but Trotz said he worked out today and doesn't appear to have suffered any long-term effects."
Tuesday, March 23: "Arnott did not have any concussion-like effects after working out on his own on Monday. But the team decided Tuesday morning that, given Arnott's concussion history, it would be best to keep him off the ice tonight as a precautionary measure. Arnott participated in Tuesday's morning skate and said that if tonight was a playoff game, he'd likely be in the lineup."
Wednesday, March 24: "Arnott did practice today, but is still questionable for Thursday's game against Phoenix. Arnott and the team will reevaluate his status following Thursday's morning skate."
Today: "Arnott said he didn't feel good on the ice when he practiced on Wednesday, and he did not participate in Thursday's morning skate."
It is not encouraging to hear that things are apparently worse today than they were just a few days ago. With concussions, it appears that extra rest is needed beyond the time at which a player feels symptom-free, or else symptoms tend to come back, drawing out the eventual recovery timetable ever longer.
While it would be great to have #19 back in the lineup, his health comes first and foremost, and perhaps the right call here is to write him off categorically for a few days or a week, even if he feels perfectly fine tomorrow morning. His early return from concussion trouble last spring was inspiring, but the urgency to do something similar is just not there right now, given the Predators' position in the standings.
The last thing Nashville needs is to have him come back prematurely and take a step backwards, rendering him unavailable for playoff action.