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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Injured Red Wings' Conditions Said to Improve

ROYAL OAK, Michigan -- The Detroit Red Wings' Russian defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and the Stanley Cup champions' team masseur are emerging from comas and have been upgraded to serious condition, doctors said.


Konstantinov and countryman Sergei Mnatsakanov had been listed in critical condition since June 13 -- six days after the Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup in 42 years -- when the limousine they were in crashed into a tree.


"It would be appropriate to say they are emerging from comas,'' Dr. James Robbins, a trauma surgeon at William Beaumont Hospital, told reporters Sunday. But he and other doctors cautioned that both men still will need months of rehabilitation.


Konstantinov was removed from a ventilator Saturday morning and has been breathing on his own since then, Robbins said. The 30-year-old player also is able to open his eyes, sit in a special chair for a few hours a day and is "more wakeful'' in the presence of his wife, Irina, Robbins said.


Mnatsakanov, while still breathing with the help of a ventilator, is able to "clearly see and recognize'' family members, shake hands, wipe his brow with a washcloth and communicate non-verbally, Robbins said.


Neither man is expected to need brain surgery, said Dr. Karol Zakalik, a Beaumont neurosurgeon.