Blackhawks' Bryan Bickell still battling vertigo symptoms as camp opens

Bryan Bickell on persistent vertigo symptoms: "It's frustrating."

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It wasn't all fun and games for Bryan Bickell during the summer.

The Blackhawks winger had to deal with persistent trade rumors and even more persistent symptoms of vertigo. The rumors have dissipated while the symptoms linger.

During the Blackhawks Convention in July, Bickell said he believed he had solved the vertigo issue by having a tooth pulled and an infection cured. That wasn't the case.

"There are still symptoms over the course of different situations, but I'm working on it every day to get better and hopefully it leaves sooner than later," said Bickell, who missed five of the six Stanley Cup Final games because of the illness.

"It's frustrating. You think things are getting better, then you take a couple steps backward. But I think these last couple weeks we are taking the right steps and just need to stick with the system that's working."

Bickell was a full participant in scrimmages Friday during the first day of training camp. He said he believes he has the situation under enough control that he will be able to play this season.

"It's going to still take some time, but I think I'm ready to play hockey and get ready for the home opener," Bickell said.

Remaining a member of the Hawks pleases the veteran. Bickell's name surfaced in trade rumors as the team needed to shed salary to get under the cap.

"Hopefully I can stay here my whole career," Bickell said. "If that was written down on paper, I'd take that for sure. I'm happy to be back and wearing the Indian head."

Waiting game: Marcus Kruger has not arrived in camp as the Swedish center works out visa issues.

Kruger's visa could not be processed until he signed with the Hawks, which finally happened when he inked a one-year deal Sept. 11. He is expected to join the team early next week.

Injury report: Veteran defensemen Michal Rozsival and Kyle Cumiskey, who were invited to camp after playing for the Hawks last season, are sidelined by injuries and not expected to participate until next week.

Rozsival continues to recover from a fractured left ankle he suffered during the playoffs, while Cumiskey had what coach Joel Quenneville called "a procedure" on his lower body during the summer.

Defenseman Cameron Schilling also sat out Friday because of an injury.

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