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Jason Arnott still on the shelf, but for how long?

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...

Jason Arnott

#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.