April 17, 2024

FEATURE: Kane returns in good spirits following scary wrist injury

“Just seeing that he’s okay, and then him being around his teammates, put a smile on everybody’s face today,” Woodcroft said

SUNRISE, FL – It happened in only a split moment, but Evander Kane can recall every detail of his frightening and life-threatening injury.
“I remember a lot,” the forward said.
After suffering a serious wrist injury during the second period of Tuesday’s game in Tampa, it was a major sigh of relief for Oil Country and the extended NHL community to see Kane already back around his teammates at Oilers practice on Friday in Sunrise, where the Oilers will face the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
Kane spoke to the media for the first time since the incident while sporting a heavily-wrapped left wrist that was suspended in a shoulder sling, but the 31-year-old showed up at the rink in the morning with a beaming smile that was soon shared by the entire team upon his arrival.
“Absolutely great. He had a big smile on his face,” Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said of Kane’s return to the team. “I know the fellas were so excited to see him and see that he was okay. Just seeing that he’s okay, and then him being around his teammates, put a smile on everybody’s face today.”

Early in the middle frame of Edmonton’s 3-2 win over Tampa Bay, Kane was taken down along the half-boards by Lightning defenceman Philippe Myers before his left wrist came in contact with the skate of former Oilers forward Pat Maroon.
“I kind of got taken down there and then I just remember feeling something hit my wrist,” Kane said. “Then I just saw the blood shoot up, so I just put my hand over my glove immediately.”
Just as he’d finished assessing the situation and comprehending the seriousness of the incident, Kane quickly realized that he had seconds to get back to the bench and into the immediate care of the Oilers medical and training staffs.
“I knew when I looked down, I could see what was going on and I knew I was in some trouble and needed some help immediately,” he added. “I was just trying to get off the ice as fast as I could to try to get some help right away.”
“I know you just want to put pressure on and try to stop the bleeding or minimize it, and like I said, I tried to get through as fast as I could. [Head Athletic Therapist T.D. Forss] and the rest of the staff and doctors kind of took over from there.”
In the seconds it took for Kane to make it back to the bench, the Oilers medical and training staffs, including Doctor Jeff Robinson and Forss, had already sprung into action to provide the immediate treatment necessary to stabilize Kane’s scary situation so that he could be transported to the nearest hospital. Kane underwent emergency surgery that night.
“It was pretty painful because they couldn’t really give anything initially, so for the first 20 minutes, it wasn’t great,” Kane recalled. “But once I got to the ambulance and to the hospital for the surgery, it was a little easier.”

Along with their call to action to care for Kane’s injury, the Oilers medical and training staffs also understood their need to help calm the emotions of his family when it came to his immediate well-being.
“The trainers did a great job,” Kane said. “One of them, I think [Assistant Athletic Therapist Chris Davie] grabbed my phone right off the hop.”
“Our staff did a great job in communicating with my family and letting them know updates as things kind of moved forward and progressed that evening. That made things a lot better than maybe they would have been if that didn’t happen.”
After undergoing surgery and being released from the hospital, Kane took a car service about a four-hour drive from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale to rejoin the Oilers in time for the start of Friday’s practice. He won’t be on the ice any time soon with a three-to-four-month recovery period, but being back around the team this quickly is an uplifting experience for everyone involved.

“It’s great to be kind of back,” Kane said. “I know I’m not on the ice, but I’m in the same kind of morning routine and I’m hoping, at least initially while I can’t do much, I can maybe be around the team as much as I can. So that will definitely be helpful as the recovery process happens.”
“I know I see a doctor on Wednesday, but other than that, just kind of taking it day-by-day. Hopefully, things heal and I do everything I can to get things to heal as fast as possible; then, just come back once everything is 100 percent, but I’ll try to make that as soon as possible.”
Those arrangements to keep Kane involved over the next three-to-four-months are already beginning to take shape.
“I brought him into the coach’s room and we came up with a plan for his work off the ice. He was all excited about that,” Woodcroft said. “I think he’s got to heal up, but I also think it’s an opportunity when he heals up that the rest of his body heals up. It’s an opportunity for him to put some good work in too while he gets ready and the hand gets ready.”

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