Johnston Sidelined With Concussion

johnstonAndrew Johnston’s ECHL stint has been put on hold.

Although neither Titans head coach Vince Williams or Johnston himself would confirm he suffered a concussion — he rather obviously and wryly described it as an “upper-body injury,” — I can confirm that’s the reason he’s been out since November 24.

The 21-year-old initially suffered the injury in the previous game against Evansville, when he was boarded from behind in the last few minutes by Patrick Kennedy, but he played the next day anyway.

“I think we thought he would be (close to returning), but he’s not,” Williams said.

“I think he needs to see someone else now.  He did skate (Wednesday), but these things are tricky.  You could feel good the first week and then feel terrible the second week…but whether it’s a concussion or not, I don’t know.”

Johnston, who did not skate on Thursday, said he didn’t feel bad, but wasn’t quite 100 percent.  He described himself as “day-to-day.”

“It didn’t hit me until the next day,” he said.  “When I came off (after the hit), with the adrenaline or whatever, I felt fine.  I don’t regret playing (the next day), I don’t want to miss any games.  That’s the type of guy I am.  If I felt fine to play, I’m going to go out and do that.”

A first-year pro, Johnston had spent the first ten games of his professional career in the AHL with Adirondack, scoring one goal while skating to an even rating and taking no penalties.  But the Flyers organization felt his development would be better suited to getting the kind of ice time he simply wasn’t going to get at the next level, and sent him to Trenton in late November.  Unfortunately, it was an experiment that didn’t last very long.

“They sent me down to work on some things; play a lot, play on the power play, play everything and play lots of minutes,’ he said.

“It was good in the first game, I got to play a lot, and then I kind of just got unlucky in the last minute getting that hit.  But it is what it is, it takes some time to get back at it.  I skated yesterday, and they just had me do a workout (Thursday).  I’ll go see the doctor again (Thursday) and today…(Wednesday) was the best I’ve felt skating, that’s for sure.  As soon as I’m feeling better, it’ll be a couple days and then I’ll be able to play.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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