- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard could miss the entire 2010-2011 season with post-concussion syndrome, according to a team source, although Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said later Tuesday that Savard could be back "in short order."
The source stressed that there are many unknowns at this point.
"It's not a good situation," the source said. "It's complex. Not sure how this will play out."
When asked if Savard could miss the season because of this latest setback, the source said, "Possible."
Chiarelli announced on the first day of training camp last week that the star forward has been experiencing post-concussion symptoms and would not participate in camp until he was medically cleared.
Chiarelli issued a statement Tuesday evening that took issue with the idea that Savard would miss the season.
"As I stated on Friday, Marc Savard is suffering from symptoms related to post-concussion syndrome," the statement said. "He is under the care of our doctors. Any reports that suggest that there are any other issues regarding Marc, or him not playing for the Bruins this season, are completely inaccurate.
"Also, as I have previously stated, when there is a change in Marc's status, I will issue an update."
Chiarelli spoke further about Savard following a town hall meeting Tuesday night at TD Garden.
"The notion that Marc won't be playing for the full year has never even been considered and in fact we expect him to be back in rather short order," Chiarelli said, according to NESN.com. "He's in good spirits. He's been seen by our doctors and will continue to be seen by our doctors."
Chiarelli was asked during an interview on Boston sports radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub Wednesday morning what the best- and worst-case scenarios were for Savard.
"I'm not going to go into that because it is uncertain," Chiarelli said. "We're giving it care and treatment. It could be two weeks. It could be a month. I don't know. It would be unfair for me to give you a time frame because I don't know the time frame. But what I can tell you is that in talking to him, he is in a good frame of mind and is anxious to get back."
Asked whether there was a chance Savard could miss the season, Chiarelli responded, "I don't know."
On Tuesday night, Chiarelli said that Savard is currently back at his home in Peterborough, Ontario, after meeting with doctors in Boston, but is expected to return to Boston soon, NESN.com reported.
Efforts by ESPNBoston.com to reach Chiarelli earlier Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Savard suffered a Grade 2 concussion March 7 when he was on the receiving end of a blindside hit by the Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cooke. Savard missed nearly two months and was cleared to play in time for the Bruins' Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
He played all seven games of that series, which the Bruins lost after having a 3-0 series lead, but Savard began to experience post-concussion symptoms late this summer. Chiarelli said last week Savard was working out hard with the player's personal trainer in preparation for training camp and the upcoming season when he began experiencing problems and had to curtail his workouts.
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Tuesday there was no update on Savard's condition.
"That's something that hasn't really changed in the last day or so," Julien said.
So the Bruins and Savard are in a holding pattern. Savard had 10 goals and 23 assists in 41 games for the Bruins last season.
Post-concussion syndrome can have a serious effect on a player's career. Recently the agent for Paul Kariya announced Kariya would miss the entire 2010-11 season because of post-concussion syndrome. The veteran forward missed six games last season with the St. Louis Blues after suffering a concussion, the second of his career.
"All of these things need to be taken seriously," said Don Baizley, Kariya's agent. "Everything we know about concussion in sports, all the signs say we have to take them far more seriously than we've been taking them."
Kariya, who is a free agent, decided to sit out the entire season because of the medical advice he received from concussion specialist Dr. Mark Lovell.
"We haven't said much about it," Baizley added. "At some point Paul will [address the situation], but at this point he was just acting on medical advice."
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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