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Recchi cleared for Flyers' opener

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Posted: Tuesday May 04, 1999 01:19 PM

  Back on the ice: Doctors say Mark Recchi's dizziness can be controlled by migraine medication. Elsa Hasch/Allsport

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Mark Recchi was cleared to play in the Philadelphia Flyers' Stanley Cup playoff opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday after tests showed that his dizziness and nausea were not caused by a concussion.

The forward was evaluated Monday in Pittsburgh by a neurosurgeon and a neurologist, who determined that his symptoms were due to migraine-related vascular spasms, team doctor Jeff Hartzell said.

Hartzell and Recchi, who finished with 16 goals and 37 assists, were relieved by the diagnosis.

"I feel great," Recchi said. "It's finally nice to get some answers."

The migraines are "not directly damaging brain tissue as in the case of a concussion," Hartzell said. "Rather, it's causing a reactive spasm of some of the vessels that feed the brain, which produces the symptoms."

Those symptoms can be controlled by anti-migraine medication, which Recchi will be prescribed, Hartzell said.

"It's recognized that this does happen. Often we don't know why these things happen," Hartzell said. He added that the migraines could be "impact-related."

On March 22, Recchi missed a check and went headfirst into the glass at Toronto. He sat out for three games, came back and experienced concussion-like symptoms after an April 1 game against Nashville, the same game in which team captain and leading scorer Eric Lindros suffered a season-ending collapsed lung.

Recchi, who complained of nausea and dizziness, was hospitalized for one night in Nashville. He was sidelined for two more games before returning to the lineup April 8 against Pittsburgh.

The following week, Recchi complained of headaches and neck soreness after he was checked into the glass April 13 against Buffalo, prompting the neurological tests.

Recchi, cleared to practice Tuesday, said he has no worries about being in shape for the start of the playoffs.

"My conditioning is fine. I've been skating for three days now," he said "I've been working out off the ice as well. I've been doing everything to keep myself sharp."

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