BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kyle Okposo's hockey career took a turn last year, when a seemingly benign hit in practice led to a concussion and a hospital visit. Okposo's health worsened after a bad reaction to medicine, and he finished the season off the ice.

"It was obviously a very trying experience for me," he told Spectrum News. "I'm happy that it's behind me. Over and done with. As far as getting back on the ice, I feel better than ever."

Okposo also suffered a concussion during the 2009-2010 season while playing for the Islanders, and he says he occasionally thinks about how hockey may affect his health in the long-term.

"You think about it a little bit," he said. "CTE is more common than people think. Saying that, I love what I do, and there's a risk to playing hockey. There always has been. I'm willing to take that risk for my family and for the love of the game."

Okposo, like Sabres head coach Phil Housley, is a native of Saint Paul, Minnesota.