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updated: 9/7/2011 1:26 PM

Hawks' Bolland knows injury could have been much worse

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  • Blackhawks center Dave Bolland feels fortunate that he has bounced back from a concussion he suffered last March.

    Blackhawks center Dave Bolland feels fortunate that he has bounced back from a concussion he suffered last March.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer


Dave Bolland considers himself one of the lucky ones.

While Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins will likely have to retire because of a concussion and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby hasn't played since January because of concussion symptoms and might not be able to start the season, Bolland is doing his normal preparations for the beginning of training camp next week.

It could have been so much worse for the Blackhawks' versatile center, who suffered a significant concussion last March 9 when he was elbowed to the back of the head by Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina.

Bolland missed the final 14 games of the regular season and the Hawks' first three playoff games before getting the OK to return. He has been free of symptoms since April.

"With that concussion it was probably the worst injury I ever had because some guys say it's only a week or two weeks, and the next thing you know I'm out a month or a month-and-a-half," Bolland said.

"It does get scary. If you look at Sidney Crosby right now, he's still out. It's never fun seeing another player out and a star player out of the lineup.

"It is scary how long these things can take. I remember I was sitting there with mine and you never knew when it was going to come out. I would have dinner with friends and it would be like they were talking to a wall."

Crosby's case will be front and center Wednesday when the Penguins' star and the NHL's best player holds a news conference in Pittsburgh to update his situation.

Crosby hasn't played since Jan. 5, when he suffered his second concussion in five days. The first came during the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Crosby has been skating, but there likely would be no announcement Wednesday about whether he would be able to participate in training camp or start the regular season.

Meanwhile, Bolland is looking for a breakout year with the Hawks, not that he already isn't one of the most valuable forwards on the team because of his skill and ability to play a lockdown defensive role.

The Hawks certainly are a different team with Bolland healthy and slotted into the third-line center role.

"Dave is very valuable to our team," general manager Stan Bowman said. "He's so crucial to allowing other players do what they do best, and it's really hard to find a guy that's willing to embrace that role.

"He has had some injury difficulties over the last couple years, but I think all you have to do is look at the playoffs to see the impact he's made."

Where are they now?

Former Hawks defenseman Chris Campoli remains an unsigned free agent with training camps a little more than a week away.

The Ottawa Sun reported recently there were five teams interested in Campoli, but there's little chance he is going to get anywhere near the $2.5 million a year he was asking from the Hawks -- not when the Calgary Flames just signed veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year, $1 million deal.

Center Ryan Johnson has been invited to Detroit Red Wings camp on a tryout basis and stands a decent shot to make the club, according to a source there. Defenseman Jordan Hendry will try out with the Minnesota Wild.

Goalie Marty Turco and winger Fernando Pisani still are free agents.

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