Researchers at Boston University have found a degenerative disease in brain tissue donated by former NHL enforcer Bob Probert.
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy issued a statement Thursday saying that Probert had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when he died last July of heart failure at age 45.
Probert played 16 seasons in the NHL and his 3,300 penalty minutes ranks fifth on the league's career list.
The former Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks tough guy is the second hockey player from the Boston University program to be diagnosed with the disease after death.
The other was Reggie Fleming, a 1960s enforcer who played before helmets became mandatory.
Details of Probert's brain tissue analysis won't be made public until they are reviewed by an academic medical journal, the centre said in its statement, but the Probert family requested that the CTE diagnosis be made public to raise awareness of the danger of brain trauma in sports. Read more>>