Sam Jardine admits the incident was “kind of scary” at first, but four days after suffering what looked to be a dangerous on-ice injury, the Ohio State hockey player is in good spirits and knows he should return to the ice later this season.
Jardine’s left forearm – between the elbow pad and the glove – was sliced Saturday night by the skate blade of an Alaska player, leaving a wound that resulted in immediate bleeding and concern that Jardine’s future in the sport might be in doubt.
A few hours later, doctors and the Buckeyes knew that wasn’t the case. While Jardine had cut a vein in his arm, resulting in the blood on the ice, the artery that provides blood flow to his hand wasn’t damaged. He also lacerated some tendons in his arm but did not sever them, an injury that would have required a much longer rehab.
Instead, the freshman defenseman and Chicago Blackhawks draft choice will get a hard cast next week but expects to be able to return to the team after the calendar flips to 2013.
“Obviously it’s disappointing, and going through something kind of scary, it’s out of your control,” Jardine said. “For me personally, it’s just how you choose to react to it, and I want to stay positive and work hard through it and be the best support for the guys now that I can be.”
Jardine said he stayed calm through the initial injury and wasn’t in too much pain, though he did say a prayer as he was helped off the ice. He wasn’t sure until a trip to the hospital just how serious the injury was going to be.
“I do feel lucky,” he said. “Especially in the first hour or so that it did happen, there was a lot of blood. They wrapped me up and the initial thinking was, ‘We need to preserve the artery,’ so that was kind of scary. When we got to the hospital and they took the wrapping off and they relieved the pressure, they realized it wasn’t an artery, it was just a vein, so that’s where the blood came from.
“Then we just had to repair a couple of tendons. It’s looking like I’ll be ready for the new year, so I’m really thankful for that. We’ll just have to do some things to prepare myself to be back and ready to play when the time comes.”
Jardine was accompanied to the OSU Wexner Medical Center by the team’s coaching staff, a few teammates and the parents of fellow Alberta native Riley Simpson. His mother, Lynee, a physical therapist, arrived in Columbus on Tuesday as part of a planned trip, and Jardine said he’s been amazed by the reaction to his plight.
“I’ve only been here for four or five months,” he said. “I’ve done my best to adapt to the community and the city of Columbus, but an event like this, you realize behind the scenes how many people are actually following you and how much people care about their Buckeyes. It’s a good feeling. It gives you goosebumps, just thinking about it. I’m real thankful for that and the people of Columbus for that.”
Head coach Mark Osiecki said the team was pleased to see that Jardine is slated for a full recovery.
“I think there were a lot of nervous players, teammates, coaches and staff,” Osiecki said. “It was obviously very ugly. Going over to the hospital and you’re looking at it, it was obviously pretty serious. He comes out of that so unbelievably lucky. It probably couldn’t have gone any better in terms of a cut. At least he can make a full recovery.”