STrib: Nevers returns from concussion

Ignatius L Hoops

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Bob Motzko noticed Mason Nevers being interviewed in a hallway near the Gophers locker room at 3M Arena at Mariucci this week and couldn't help but reiterate what he told a group of reporters a few minutes earlier.

"He's back," the Gophers men's hockey coach said, patting the senior forward on the back as he passed by.

Motzko's exuberance isn't misplaced. On a team that's on a 9-1-1 roll entering a weekend series at Notre Dame, the re-emergence of Nevers as a scoring threat has made a balanced team even deeper. A concussion suffered Oct. 8 shelved Nevers for the first four games of the season and limited his effectiveness once he returned.

Throw in an ankle injury, and the player who helped the Gophers reach the NCAA championship game last year was having a rough start to the season.

"I've honestly been a guy who's never had to really deal with injury, and this year is kind of the first I've had to deal with stuff and learn how to work around it," said Nevers, who didn't score his first goal until Jan. 13 against Robert Morris.

Nevers worked through nausea early in the recovery and felt headaches and fatigue during conditioning. The December break came at a perfect time for him.

"It was crazy that what he went through on his injury," Motzko said, "and I can tell you as his coach, for a long stretch, that wasn't the Mason Nevers we knew."
 




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