Kyle Okposo suffered a concussion, according to Sabres teammate William Carrier, and a corroborating report says an adverse reaction to medication while treating the injury is what landed Okposo in a neurological intensive care unit.
Buffalo’s season took a scary turn in early April when Okposo was admitted to Buffalo General Medical Center. The Sabres said he was dealing with “symptoms from an illness,” and they’ve had no further comment. The neuro ICU is reserved for the most seriously ill or injured patients, leading to the possibility Okposo’s condition was life- or career-threatening.
Carrier appeared on French-speaking RDS television this week and was asked about Okposo. Carrier told the hosts the ailment that required hospitalization was a concussion.
Citing a source, Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has reported that Okposo had a reaction to medication he was taking for post-concussion problems.
Source tells me Kyle Okposo issue was a reaction to medication he was taking when dealing with concussion and is doing much better. #Sabres
— Kris Baker (@SabresProspects) April 23, 2017
Okposo continues to improve, a source told The Buffalo News on Friday. If the recovery path remains the same, it appears the right winger should be fine to join the Sabres at training camp in September. He has finished one season of a seven-year, $42 million contract.
Okposo’s final game was March 27 at home against Florida. He boarded the Sabres’ charter after the 4-2 victory and flew with the team to Columbus for a game March 28. Okposo didn’t play because of illness and was absent the following week. Okposo was confirmed to be in the ICU on April 5.
The timeline started innocently.
“Kyle Okposo is not likely to play tonight,” since-fired coach Dan Bylsma said March 28 in Columbus. “He’s ill today, so he’s not likely at this point.”
Bylsma was asked: Not an injury, just sickness?
“Yes,” the coach replied.
Was Okposo feeling it the previous night?
“Yeah,” Bylsma said. “Yeah, he was.”
Attention quickly turned away from Okposo because forward Sam Reinhart watched the entire game against Columbus from the bench as punishment for being late to a team stretch.
The Sabres were vague about Okposo’s absence during the following week.
“Kyle’s still dealing with sickness and illness,” Bylsma said April 4. “He has gone through some testing with our docs just trying to get more information about it.”
Okposo reportedly went into the hospital April 2. He was released April 7, according to Tom Martin of Channel 4. Ex-General Manager Tim Murray declined to update Okposo’s status at the Sabres’ year-end news conference, and the team had no information Friday.