Andy McDonald knew the Blues would be in the playoffs. He just didn't know if he would be with them.

Two weeks after his second concussion in 10½ months, suffering from symptoms almost unbearable and knowing how susceptible he'd be to another head injury if he returned, the veteran forward contemplated retiring from the NHL last October.

"Early on, I was kind of down about my chances of getting back," McDonald said Tuesday. "Having that (first concussion) and then going out so quickly this year after a hit that maybe wasn't that severe - that was a red flag. So early on, I really didn't know what was going to happen."

The former Stanley Cup winner with the Anaheim Ducks said that he had to convince himself that he could "play hockey again" before returning in February from a 51-game absence. After McDonald's four-point game in Monday's 4-3 win over San Jose in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, one might have a hard time convincing others that McDonald, who also sat out six games with a shoulder injury, has missed any time this season.