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Still recovering from stroke, Kris Letang hopeful he will play again this season

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After an Olympic break that saw captain Sidney Crosby and his linemate Chris Kunitz win gold medals, the Pittsburgh Penguins returned to NHL action Thursday; falling to the Montreal Canadiens in a shootout.

Absent from the ice for the Pens, was star defenseman Kris Letang; as the 26-year-old has yet to play since suffering a stroke in late January.

"The day before, I was totally fine. I was practicing and I woke up that morning not expecting that to happen and it happened like this," said Letang. "My family is really worried. That was a difficult part. When you see your mom crying or your wife or any of my family members, it's always a tough thing to handle."

On the path to recovery, Letang has begun to do some light workouts, but the process is without question, a gradual one.

"I have some good days, some bad days [physically]," he said. "I think the most difficult thing is around family, everybody is really careful. I can't even lift their luggage without having them try to help me out.”

Letang meets with his doctors twice a week, who tell him that because he had the stroke at such a young age, there is a very good chance he will make a full recovery. He may even play again this season.

"I've been focusing on just talking to my doctors and going to rehab," said Letang. "It's kind of reassuring that I will play again."