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  • Brandon Carlo addresses his latest concussion

    Tim Rosenthal October 24, 2022

    Without two of their top defensemen to start the 2022-23 campaign, the Boston Bruins knew they’d need to rely on Brandon Carlo during the opening month of the new year.

    Those plans nearly derailed during Boston’s home opener against the Arizona Coyotes when the Colorado Springs native exited the game following a collision with Liam O’Brien.

    The Bruins labeled Carlo as day-to-day with an upper-body injury last week. They played the next four games without one of their steady stay-at-home blue-liners.

    Carlo practiced with the team late last week in a no-contact sweater. On Monday, Carlo ditched the yellow practice jersey for a full-contact uniform during the team’s latest on-ice training session at Warrior Ice Arena.

    “I’m feeling very good. I feel like, through this, I progressed very well, and I’m happy about that,” Carlo said.

    “I would say the third day after I was out of that game, I felt pretty much back to normal, and I’ve felt very good since.”

    This time, Carlo was fortunate not to have as lengthy of a recovery with his latest concussion.

    As he stood and took questions from the assembled media in front of his locker room stall at Warrior Ice Arena, the seventh-year Bruin confirmed his fifth known concussion at the NHL level. His well-documented history of head trauma prompted head coach Jim Montgomery to take a cautious approach with Carlo’s return to the lineup.

    “Carlo is getting close,” Montgomery said after pairing Carlo with Anton Stralman as Boston’s extra defensive pair on Monday. “But I’m going to be cautious with him.”

    That cautious approach extends off the ice.

    After all, Carlo recalled seeing a blur of sorts after O’Brien’s hit. He went to the locker room immediately and didn’t return for the third period.

    The end of Carlo’s night marked the fourth reported concussion within a 31-month timespan. He still feels he can withstand the daily requirements of a physical, shut-down role on the ice. But he also wants to remain an asset to his friends, family and peers in his everyday life off the ice.

    “From a hockey aspect, I still feel very good. I still feel not unsafe to play by any means. But with these things it’s hard because you want to be reliable for your team and whatnot. It’s a weird injury. You can’t really see it besides what I’ve been experiencing with it all,” Carlo said. “It’s hard… and I also just want to be reliable with my friends and family, and that’s a component that you have to take into account.”

    Some of the concussion symptoms aren’t easy to recognize. Some hits to the head aren’t severe as others. Yet, the responses to said symptoms can provide a difference between a shorter or more prolonged recovery.

    With medical advances, concussion awareness has grown significantly over the last decade. The discussion and the experiences of his symptoms have helped Carlo gain a better understanding of the subject.

    Right now, he feels alright. But Carlo knows things can get worse.

    “It’s good the conversation that’s been had over the past couple of years about concussions and the things that are going on because they’re very real. I’ve experienced a lot of those symptoms and a lot of those things,” Carlo said. “But overall, I still feel very good of where I’m at.”

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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