Winnipeg Jets rookie defenseman Zach Redmond is expected to miss the remainder of the 2013 season after sustaining a severe cut to his leg in practice Thursday, according to a report from the Winnipeg Free Press. More important, however, Redmond may be lucky to even be alive after the freak accident resulted in a cut to his femoral artery and vein.
"I've been doing this for 12 years and that's easily the most-grave incident I've been a part of, for sure," Jets head athletic therapist Rob Milette told the Free Press. "He lost a lot of blood there, and his heart was definitely struggling. We were monitoring his vitals, checking his pulse. His pulse was really weak and really slow. He was pale. He was starting to tell us he was getting thirsty and that told us he had lost a lot of blood."
Redmond underwent a successful three-hour surgery at a nearby hospital, but the details of the damage done are shocking.
According to Ed Tait of the Free Press, Milette said that in addition to one of his veins being sliced, Redmond's femoral artery was severed completely. Doctors needed to take a piece from another vein to splice it into the main artery. Due to the severity of the damage, Milette is unsure of a recovery time frame.
Milette also gave an account of what happened immediately after the incident when Redmond was accidentally stepped on by teammate Antti Miettinen.
According to Mielette, Jets assistant coach Perry Pearn's jacket was used as a tourniquet, while Jets call-up Anthony Peluso helped push the wound closed. Assistant equipment manager Mark Grehan, assistant athletic therapist Brad Shaw and Miettinen were also on the ice aiding Milette and assistant athletic therapist Lee Stubbs.
It's one of those freak accidents that luckily doesn't happen often. Redmond was fortunate to have had enough people around to work as quickly as possible to keep him from losing more blood. Hopefully, he'll be able to make a full recovery and resume a career that was only just beginning.
Redmond appeared in eight NHL games this season with Winnipeg. He had a goal and three assists in what is just his second full professional season, having spent last year in the American Hockey League.