The clip above shows Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich taking a puck to the groin area during last Thursday's game against the New York Islanders. It was obvious right from the beginning that he was in a great deal of pain and struggled to get off the ice.
But just how much pain was he in? Well ... a lot.
During a radio appearance with The Sports Junkies on 106.7 in Washington on Wednesday, Laich shared one of the more painful stories we've heard during the 2013 NHL season. Let's just say the words "you may have cracked it in half" were used by a team trainer.
“I took a shot, the puck came right, I was close to the guy, and it came right underneath the can and just caught the low-hanging fruit just directly," said Laich. "A sniper shot direct to them. The left side, it was just miserable. It just dropped me like a sack of hammers, man.
"I couldn't even get up and I crawled off and our head medical trainer, Greg Smith, asked me how I was doing. I was like 'Man, I'm in so much pain.' And he goes, ‘Well, you may have cracked it in half.' I was like, ‘Seriously, that can happen?' And he goes, ‘Yeah, you might have to go to the back to check it out. If you're experiencing that much pain, that can happen.' I said, ‘Oh, man.' So I had to go to the back to make sure things were okay.”
You can listen to the entire segment here (the puck-in-the-groin section starts around the 2:40 mark), but Laich continued to say that "making sure things were OK" included "the ol' hand test" and that had something really been wrong he would have left it up to the trainers and doctors that were present with him.
Still, that sounds just awful. It reminds me of the story that came out after the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs when it was revealed Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom experienced "a nearly catastrophic testicle injury" that forced him to miss two games (Games 4 and 5) in that year's Western Conference Final.
Laich did return to last Thursday's game after getting hit by the puck but eventually left again in the third period. He hasn't played since due to another groin injury that's not related to the puck hitting him.
He missed the first 29 games of the season due to a groin injury and went to see a specialist on Tuesday. There's still no timetable for his return to the lineup.