Calgary, AB, Canada (4E Sports) – While he’s slowly recovering from injuries sustained in a cycling accident last month, free-agent defenseman Cory Sarich is unsure if and when he would continue his NHL career.
“This has thrown a big wrinkle into it and I don’t know what’s going to happen. But right now my priority is to get healthy,” Sarich said.
“I want to get myself back in shape regardless if hockey is an option moving forward. I’m just going to play it by ear from here,” he added.
Sarich was injured July 21 when he tried to avoid a pickup truck that turned in front of his bicycle. He slid under the truck on his stomach.
“The first thing in my mind was, ‘I’m not going to die here right now, so let’s get this thing moving,’” Sarich said. “I wasn’t sure the severity of my injuries. I’d worn all the ends of my fingertips off.”
“My helmet was busted up in probably seven or more pieces. It was just in pieces hanging by the chinstrap and was actually choking me, so good thing I had that on because it helped in saving my life,” he said.
The 36-year-old Sarich sustained “five cracked vertebrae, burns on his shoulder and wrist from the truck’s muffler, a swollen left arm and leg, a large laceration on his head and a serious case of road rash.”
He continues to deal with a knee injury and had a staph infection in his elbow that required another hospital stay.
Last season with the Colorado Avalanche, Sarich had one goal, nine assists and 38 penalty minutes in 54 games.
A 1996 second-round pick (No. 27) of the Buffalo Sabres, he has played 969 games in 15 seasons with the Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames and Avalanche.