Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik says he passed concussion tests

Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik practiced with the team today at Consol Energy Center and afterward said he has passed his neurocognitive baseline test but isn't sure when he might return to the lineup.

Orpik was left with a concussion following an incident in a Dec. 7 game at Boston in which Bruins winger Shawn Thornton attacked him, pulling him down from behind and punching him before and after Orpik was unconscious. Orpik was taken from the ice on a stretcher. Thornton received a 15-game suspension from the NHL.

"The first two, three days were pretty miserable, really just bad headaches, memory loss of the game itself," Orpik said.

Orpik said he had contact Thursday practicing with a few other injured or suspended players.,

"I got through that and feel pretty good today," Orpik said. "I’m just kind of going from there."

Orpik said Thornton has reached out to him a couple of times and was apologetic. Orpik was understanding, saying he has done things he regrets, too. The two are friends and practiced together many times last winter during the NHL lockout.

Shelly Anderson: or 412-263-1721. Twitter: @pgshelly.

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