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Anaheim Hopeful of Kariya’s Return

March 2, 1998

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ The Anaheim Mighty Ducks remained hopeful that captain Paul Kariya will return this season, but team doctors aren’t rushing his recovery.

Kariya still has lingering symptoms from a concussion he suffered Feb. 1 in a game against Chicago, his fourth.

Kariya’s symptoms must disappear and then he will spend at least a month recovering, team doctor Craig Millhouse said Saturday.

``Absolutely, we’re going to err on the side of caution,″ Millhouse said. ``If the symptoms clear in two weeks, and add a month, that’s at the end of the season. We’re not going to get caught up in trying to get him back for the playoffs. We’re taking no risks.″

Kariya, who missed the Olympics, still has headaches and difficulty concentrating while at rest, Millhouse said. He had been prohibited from any physical activity for the past month.

The 23-year-old center suffered the concussion when he was cross-checked by Blackhawks defenseman Gary Suter. No penalty was assessed on the play, but the NHL later suspended Suter _ who played for the United States in the Olympics _ for four games without pay and fined him $1,000.

Besides the physical hurdles, Kariya is also emotionally drained, Millhouse said.

``This has been difficult on him, especially because I can’t tell him when it will end,″ the doctor said.

Still, Millhouse said he expects Kariya to recover fully and return to the ice.

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