TAMPA — Pavel Kubina said he did not want to get into too many details of the symptoms he is experiencing.
But the Lightning defenseman, out the past six games because of concussion-like symptoms, revealed enough to paint a grim picture.
"I always watch the games (from the coaches' office)," Kubina said Friday. "I can't even go watch from the press box. It's too loud and too many lights. It's hard, but it's something I can't do anything about."
Kubina had not spoken publicly since May 3, four days after he took an elbow to the back of the head from Washington's Jason Chimera in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal and his head hit the glass.
Kubina, who did not travel with the team to Boston for Games 1 and 2 of the East final, still has not skated and did not deny he still has headaches. He said he is doing light workouts with the medical staff, and "I hope I'm going to be able to play in these playoffs."
The Lightning could use him. At 6 feet 4, 250 pounds, Kubina is one of the team's biggest and most physical defensemen, and his absence is noticed, especially against a big, bruising team such as the Bruins. Plus, he has 46 games of playoff experience, as well as a Stanley Cup ring from the Lightning's 2003-04 team.
"He's a leader in our room," goalie Mike Smith said. "He has been there before. Any time you lose somebody with the experience of Kuby, it's definitely something you miss. You can't imitate a guy who has been there and won."
Asked about a reasonable timetable for a return, Kubina said, "I can't answer that. I really don't know. Nobody knows."
This is one of the most difficult times of his career, he said. "It's very tough to watch the guys play and you're not able to do anything," said Kubina, who in July signed a two-year free agent deal. "When I came here in the summer, I was so happy. I knew we were a good-enough team to make the playoffs. When we made it, I was so happy … and this happened. I've never had a problem like that. I never missed much time. It's difficult. Hopefully the guys can get it done."