Letang to skip road trip

Kris Letang

PITTSBURGH (TNS) – A sense or nervousness surrounds Kris Letang’s upper-body injury. Uncertainty and frustration could probably fit there, too.

Letang won’t accompany the Penguins on their upcoming five-game road trip that winds through four Canadian cities and ends next Wednesday in Philadelphia, while coach Mike Sullivan declined Tuesday to tamp down growing speculation that this could be related to a concussion or heart problems, issues Letang has dealt with in the past.

“Our medical staff has a good handle on it,” Sullivan said after practice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. “When he’s ready to play or he’s getting close, and we get him on the ice, we’ll let you guys know. I really don’t want to go down the road of talking details of his injury. We’re hopeful here that he’s making progress.”

Letang last played in a game Feb. 21 at Carolina. The team announced following a practice that Letang missed on Feb. 23 that he was day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

He was a limited participant at the Penguins’ Heinz Field practice on Feb. 24 and stayed home from a two-game road trip Feb. 28-March 1.

The reason, Sullivan said, was to better work with the team’s skills coach, Ty Hennes.

But on March 1, Sullivan said Letang did not skate. There has been no indication that he’s skated since, although Letang has been spotted several times – with no noticeable issues – in and around the Penguins dressing room.