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Savard sidelined by another concussion

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By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / January 25, 2011

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LOS ANGELES — Yesterday, as the Bruins feared, center Marc Savard was diagnosed with a concussion, his second in 10 months. Savard’s latest concussion is described as moderate; he suffered a severe concussion on March 7, 2010, when he was knocked out by Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke.

On Saturday, Savard was hit by former teammate Matt Hunwick in the second period of the Bruins’ 6-2 win over Colorado. Savard flew home from Denver Sunday and met with doctors yesterday.

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“When you go through a concussion, a second one, I don’t think he’s doing somersaults right now and being so happy,’’ Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He’s disappointed. The minute you see a little bit of progression, you start feeling a little better. That changes quickly. That’s where a guy like Patrice [Bergeron] explained it to him. He went through the same thing. Two totally different situations. Again, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s very minor.’’

There is no timetable on how much time Savard will miss. On Dec. 20, 2008, Bergeron suffered a second concussion when he ran into current teammate Dennis Seidenberg, then playing for Carolina. Bergeron didn’t play again until7 Jan. 27, 2009. Bergeron’s second concussion was far milder than the severe concussion he absorbed on Oct. 27, 2007.

“Patrice Bergeron suffered a real major one a few years back,’’ Julien said. “He suffered a second one and he’s been fine ever since. You cross your fingers that the same thing’s going to happen with Savvy. I can’t stand here. I don’t have the answers except to say that as a league, we’re definitely trying to eliminate the head shots. But that was a clean hit. He was off-balance. It’s an unfortunate part of the game. Hopefully we see him get better quickly here and bring him back to our team.’’

Savard did not lose consciousness on Saturday.

With help from Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, Savard skated off the ice.

All players react differently to successive concussions, and there is no way for doctors to project Savard’s recovery until his symptoms wane. On Sunday morning, according to coach Claude Julien, Savard was complaining of headaches. But considering Savard’s recent history, it could be some time — perhaps even until next season — before he returns.

Savard’s troubles began when he was blindsided by Cooke. Savard, who was taken off the Mellon Arena ice on a stretcher, missed the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.

He returned for the second-round series against Philadelphia, scoring the overtime winner in Game 1.

But post-concussion syndrome, including depression, flared up for Savard over the summer. During his roughest stretch, Savard considered retirement.

Savard missed the first 23 games of 2010-11,returning on Dec. 2 against Tampa Bay. He has two goals and eight assists.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com.

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