Hockey World Blog

Zach Redmond Back on Ice After Leg Injury

It was only a few days ago where the Kevin Ware broken leg injury in the NCAA basketball tournament not only caught the eyes of sports fans, but mainstream news media as well. For those who have played hockey, we have seen some gruesome injuries while on the ice. I’ve seen things from ankles being broken when blocking a shot, high sticks knocking out teeth, to shots so hard it would take the goalies helmet off.


We’ve seen many life-threatening injuries on the ice  such as Richard Zednik, another one that happened during a Winnipeg Jets practice was to Zach Redmond. Back on February 21 prior to playing the Carolina Hurricanes, teammate Antti Miettinen’s skate lacerated the femoral artery in Redmond’s right thigh and severely damaged muscle and nerves. It was at that moment whether the 24-year-old rookie would play again, let alone get back on the ice. At the time of the incident, he had logged only eight games in the NHL.

The cut was so deep, it left a large scar and stitching marks on his calf and thigh. Redmond returned to practice for the first time Friday since the injury. He’s been going through rehabilitation in Michigan and he’s been working on regaining his leg strength three times a week in addition to working on his upper body twice a week.”

The difficult part was gauging whether or not Redmond would ever play again let alone a timeline for recovery. “The reason for all of the question marks with recovery is because it never happens,” Redmond said to the media. “Right away, they were saying 50/50 chance that I would ever play again. A week later, it was a year[-long] recovery. The training staff is pleased with his recovery pace. “I would definitely say he is ahead of schedule from where we thought he was going to be with that kind of injury, which is really encouraging,” athletic trainer Rob Milette said. “When you’re dealing with really healthy people, that kind of stuff just works out, I guess. He has been doing really well. There are [recovery] goals that we have in mind with the medical staff and the doctors, and that’s what we’re going to strive for before he plays.”

Redmond never felt the cut, but it was forward Anthony Peluso who first reacted to the injury. He helped apply pressure to the wound to prevent further bleeding while the ambulance was called. It took about 15 people to help him while the ambulance took him to a hospital in Raleigh, N.C. where emergency surgery was performed. The Jets even chartered a flight for his family to spend time with him at his bedside.

Redmond and I have a personal link, as we both Ferris State alumni. I’ve never met Redmond during our time there as he entered college just as I was leaving. He knows he still has a lengthy process before seeing game action, but in the mean time he’s thankful for being able to skate again. “It’s awesome. It felt great to get out there again,” Redmond said. “I honestly feel fortunate. I feel [more] lucky to be here than unlucky to be hurt. I’m just kind of thankful for what happened. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure [playing for the Jets again] happens.”


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