Marian Hossa Injury: Blackhawks Winger Lucky to Avoid Major Injury

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterApril 19, 2012

In Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals between the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, Coyotes winger Raffi Torres attempted to send Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa into orbit.

He did not succeed. He did succeed, however, in sending Hossa to the hospital.

According to a report from ESPNChicago.com, Hossa has already been ruled out for Game 4 on Thursday. The good news, according to a separate report from ESPNChicago.com, is that Hossa is expected to make a complete recovery, though there is no timetable for his return.

Chicago team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement on Tuesday night that hospital tests on Hossa "yielded encouraging results."

It's unclear exactly what kind of injury Hossa suffered. The immediate fear was that he had suffered a concussion, but that's not the only injury Hossa could have suffered given the violence of the hit. Torres launched his shoulder right into Hossa's chin, lifting him off his feet and slamming him hard onto the ice. Slow-motion replays show that Hossa landed right on his lower back, and that his head snapped back violently due to the force of the fall.

When Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was asked if Hossa's injury could be a long-term thing, all he could say was, "We'll see."

Jonathan Toews offered a slightly more optimistic assessment of Hossa's health:

He's texting all the boys back; he's probably busy with his phone right now. Don't want to keep him too busy; I want him to rest and relax. From the sounds of it he's getting better as the day goes on. Hopefully, I can go check on him soon.

It's conceivable that Hossa will be able to return to the ice this postseason, though the Blackhawks will need to keep their postseason chase alive in the meantime. They trail the Coyotes 2-1 after Tuesday's OT loss in Game 3.

If and when Hossa does return to the ice, it will be a moment for the Blackhawks to rally around. They'll be getting a good player back, for one, and they'll also be getting a player back whose career could have been put in jeopardy by Torres' hit.

Despite the fact Quenneville doesn't want to make any promises, it doesn't sound like Hossa's career is in jeopardy. He obviously needs some time away from the ice, but the vibes surrounding his status are better than any of us thought they would be when he was being taken off the ice on a stretcher on Tuesday night.

In fact, it wouldn't be at all surprising if Hossa returns to the ice before Torres. As reported by ESPNChicago.com, Torres has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing on Friday. He could be hit with an even harsher penalty for taking Hossa out.

Most will say that he deserves a harsher penalty, myself included.

 

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