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Decision on when to return will rest with Pens' Letang

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By Josh Yohe
Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 7:33 p.m.

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said the decision to return to the lineup this season is his.

Letang, who suffered a stroke Jan. 29, told the Tribune-Review on Tuesday that, while he remains in frequent contact with physicians, he has no physical limitations and can return when he deems himself fit to do so.

“It's going to be my call,” he said. “It's all about when I feel ready.”

Letang, 26, said he will “still have to meet with the doctors” — as a precautionary checkup — before entering game action but said he will play when he feels comfortable.

Although Letang has been skating hard in daily practices with the team, he said he is not sure when he would return.

“It's not a case of your shoulder or something like that,” he said. “When I'm ready, I'm ready.”

Letang said he is encouraged by his progress.

“When I'm on the ice, I have no issues,” he said. “I'm back to normal.”

Letang also said he feels psychologically better than he did Feb. 7, when he made news of the stroke public.

“I was so concerned that I wouldn't play again this year,” Letang said. “But when I had the green light, I felt fine. The first few days (of practice) were tough. But I'm good now.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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