Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 11/17/11

NEW YORK - JANUARY 25: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against on January 25, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

As I added into this morning's article on Brad Richards, defenseman Marc Staal has been cleared for light physical activity by his concussion specialist according to Larry Brooks in the New York Post. Staal, as you know, has been on shutdown for the past month after suffering from relapse post-concussion symptoms in training camp back in September. That means he hasn't been able to workout or skate for the past four weeks, but after his visit to Dr. Cantu in Boston on Tuesday, that all changes. 

Marc is now allowed to engage in light physical activity, which likely means he will begin to get himself back into game-shape in the gym. While working out was when Staal experienced symptoms over the summer, so his reaction to these workouts will be critical in developing a timetable for his return -- there is none at the moment. 

That being said, the Rangers and Marc will want to take this slowly. If he is pushed too far, it could cause a setback and the headaches could return. That would absolutely eliminate any chance he has of being able to play this season, which is a chance the team wishes to preserve right now. Therefore it may be a few weeks until Marc hits the ice in practice. We could see him skate on his own in the early going, but he won't be put in any position where he will come into physical contact on the ice for quite a while. 

So while this doesn't guarantee a return anytime soon, it's still good news for the Rangers' number one defenseman. He's making strides on the path to recovery and you can only hope that he gets through these workouts symptom-free and potentially prepares himself to return to the lineup before the season's end. 

By the way, this situation will be especially difficult to forecast since the Rangers have stated that they will not be providing the media with any updates on Staal's condition during the recovery process. For this reason is why I waited to make a post about the Staal news today, because I figured coach Tortorella would be discussing the issue following practice. That didn't happen and probably never will, though. 

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