Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi is getting closer to a return to game action. Josi participated in practice Monday, the fourth time he has skated with the team in the last five days. He has not played in a game since Oct. 4 when Colorado forward Steve Downie gave him a concussion on a controversial hit.
“It’s always a slow process with a concussion; you have to go slow and see how you feel,” Josi said of the recovery process. “It takes a while. It’s been almost a month now and I’m excited to be back.”
Head Coach Barry Trotz said Josi is “very likely” to go on the road with the team when they embark on a seven-game, cross-country expedition starting on Thursday.
“He’s getting some contact here; that’s part of the next step,” Trotz said. “He’s tracking pretty well. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. The trainers are doing a real good job in terms of protocol and our fitness coach is doing a good job preparing him. It’s probably in Roman’s hands now.
This wasn’t the first time Josi has sustained a concussion. He said has had “three or four” throughout his playing career and that this one is similar to the others.
“I just had a headache after the game [against Colorado] and had the headache for a while,” he said. “I just tried to take my time. As long as I had symptoms I didn’t want to force anything. I’m feeling good now. I’ve had a couple before so you have to be careful and not rush anything.”
For the most part, the Predators’ defense corps has played well in Josi’s absence. Seth Jones has filled in admirably alongside Shea Weber, whereas Mattias Ekholm has stepped up with a larger amount of ice time. With Josi’s return to the lineup seemingly on the horizon, it will only improve the team’s defense during one of their toughest stretches of the season.