Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is confident that he will play hockey again after suffering a stroke last month.
Speaking with reporters before the Penguins' game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, Letang, 26, said doctors told him that he should be able to get back on the ice. But when that happens remains unknown.
"(Doctors) said being 26 and having a stroke, it's actually a small percentage, but the chance that I get back to normal is really high," Letang said. "We'll take the decision from there, but for now, we're keeping like this. ... I'm going day by day to get to 100 percent. I feel like I'm trying to make steps and getting closer to coming back at one point."
Letang's recovery includes taking blood thinners and engaging in light exercises without weights.
"I see doctors pretty much every week, twice a week to get better," he said. "So we'll go from there."
Letang recounted the stroke, which occurred before a trip to Los Angeles. He said his wife found him on the floor.
"I was not able to function," Letang said. "The day before I was totally fine, I was practicing. I woke up and didn't expect that would happen. I went in the car and went to Los Angeles and thought it would clear up, but it never did."
Letang's medical situation has been hard on his family.
"When you see your mom crying or your wife, any of my family members, it's always a tough thing to handle," Letang said. "Everbody is really careful, like I can't even lift the luggage without them trying to help me out. Otherwise, it's just been mentally tough a little bit."
After signing an eight-year, $58 million conract extension last summer, Letang endured a series of medical problems this season, including an infected elbow and lower-body injury in addition to the stroke.
In 34 games, Letang had 10 goals and 18 assists, boosting his career totals to 54 goals and 173 assists in eight seasons with the Penguins.
Letang last played on Jan. 27 against the Buffalo Sabres.