Olympian Amanda Kessel will not play for the University of Minnesota for a second straight season, ending her college career for health reasons following a concussion, according to the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald.
“It’s just not worth it for her and her health,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost said, according to the newspaper.
Kessel, 23, suffered a concussion leading up to the 2014 Olympics, according to reports, but played in Sochi. The younger sister of NHL All-Star and Olympian Phil Kessel scored three goals with three assists in helping the U.S. to a second straight Olympic silver medal.
Kessel hasn’t played for Minnesota or for the U.S. since the Winter Games, missing last season due to “lingering concussion symptoms due to injuries sustained as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team,” the university’s athletic office said Sept. 14.
“As someone who has played through a lot of injuries, it wasn’t until suffering a concussion that I fully understood the importance of being 100 percent healthy when I’m on the ice,” Kessel said in her last widely reported comments, in a press release statement Sept. 14. “Unfortunately, that isn’t the case right now.
“My No. 1 priority is my health, and I hope that I’ll be able to return to the ice in the future.”
In 2014, Kessel visited a brain institute in Atlanta headed by the same doctor who worked with Sidney Crosby and two-time U.S. Olympic medalist Caitlin Cahow after their concussions.
Kessel won the 2012-13 NCAA Player of the Year award as part of Minnesota’s 41-0-0 NCAA champion team and missed the 2013-14 season to play for the U.S. National Team.
She potted what proved to be the gold-medal-game-winning goal at the 2013 World Championships, beating the most decorated women’s player of all time, Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser, and the goalie who denied the U.S. in the last two Olympic finals, Shannon Szabados, on the scoring play.