UMD’s Geris Forced to Retire

Ryan Geris has been officially forced to retire from hockey with post-concussive symptoms.

Geris sat out most of last season with a concussion, and his symptoms still were reoccuring this season. A doctor advised him last week that he should stop playing hockey.

“I started waking up with really bad headaches, like last year, and at first I thought I was just having a bad day or it was stress, but then they didn’t go away,” said Geris, 23, to the Duluth News-Tribune. “The state that I’m in, I don’t think I should play, either.”

Geris had three concussions in his career, including one in high school. He played 40 games as a freshman two seasons ago, but his playing time was limited since then, including six games this year. His last concussion was Nov. 15, 2003 against Bemidji State at the DECC when he was knocked unconscious. He missed the rest of the season.

After playing a bit this season, the headaches returned.

“Ryan’s symptoms returned with relatively minor contact which means his brain isn’t tolerating that kind of activity,” said Minnesota-Duluth athletic department physician Dr. Steve Harrington to the News-Tribune. “The risk of serious injury by continuing to play is so large that you can’t take that risk.”

Geris told the newspaper that he plans on staying around the team and helping in whatever way he can.

“The hardest part will be when I feel normal enough again to skate. I’ll want to play,” said Geris, who will get to keep his scholarship. “Hockey is what I know and what I’ve worked my whole life for.”