Canes defenseman Tim Gleason said he first realized something was wrong when he couldn't hear out of his right ear.

Gleason had engaged Jarred Tinordi of the Montreal Canadiens in a fight during a Sept. 21 preseason game at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Both exchanged some heavy blows and Gleason said he took a particularly hard one of the left side of his head.

"It was weird" he said. "I went to the (penalty) box and couldn't hear. Everything else was fine and I played the period and couldn't hear anything out of that ear.

"I sat down after the period and said 'What the heck I'm off-balance.' Then it just kind of got worse in the days ahead with the dizziness and things like that."

Gleason had suffered a concussion which has sidelined him through the first seven games of the regular season. He noted he took a puck square in the face a few years ago and was out for about 10 days but that a concussion was a different sensation with different problems.

"It's something I've never really had to handle" he said.

Gleason said he recently consulted with Dr. Michael "Micky" Collins executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) Concussion Program when the Canes played the Pens in Pittsburgh. Collins has worked with Penguins star Sidney Crosby and other concussed athletes.

"I saw him and a couple of other doctors and it seems like I did about 10000 tests in an eight-hour period" Gleason said smiling. "That would make anybody dizzy. I've had a lot of tests that I never would have thought had been invented. But everyone was doing all they could to get me back as soon as possible and at a safe time."

It hurt Gleason that the Canes faced the Detroit Red Wings in the Oct. 4 opener at PNC Arena and he was forced to be a bystander. Even worse he couldn't skate with his teammates and was not allowed to work out off ice until recently.

"The toughest part is going through summer training you're on top of your game and you're feeling great" Gleason said. "You work hard for four or five months and you have to hit the reset button and have to start from scratch again."