Jake DeBrusk is getting better.
The winger became the third Boston Bruins youngster this season to sustain a concussion, joining Charlie McAvoy and Urho Vaakanainen (the latter of which remains sidelined) when he was hit in the back of the head with a puck Nov. 26.
DeBrusk proceeded to play four more games after suffering the head injury, but after another out-of-character showing against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he finally took himself out, informed the team and entered the concussion protocol.
After skating in practice Wednesday wearing a non-contact jersey, DeBrusk opened up about what he went through.
“It was different every day,” DeBrusk said, via Boston Sports Journal. “It wasn’t consistent. It was kind of all over the map and then it started going downhill from there. It got to a point where I needed to take myself out, health-wise. Obviously, I was trying to help the team out as much as I could. But at the same time, the way I was playing, I wasn’t helping anyone out, especially myself. It was just a matter of being honest with myself.
“I think I was not straight up with it,” DeBrusk later added. “I think it was one of those things where it happened to me last year and I was playing well at the time and I kept wanting to play. I didn’t think it was what it was. Whether that was me telling myself that or what, obviously it kept getting worse and worse.”
The 22-year-old also gave an update on how he presently is feeling.
“Feeling good,” DeBrusk said. “Had a good day today. Obviously taking it day by day and making progress toward the end goal. It was nice to be on the ice with the guys today. Feels like it was a while ago, so it’s nice to be around the room and be a hockey player again.”
Getting a gifted top-six forward like DeBrusk back will be big for the Bruins, who have dealt with numerous injuries this season. But given how fickle head injuries can be, being patient now to preserve his long-term health is far more important.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports