Free-agent defenseman Cory Sarich is improving in his recovery from injuries sustained in a cycling accident one month ago.
In an interview with the Calgary Herald published Tuesday, Sarich said he did not know if or when he would resume 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 told writer Kristen Odland. "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."
Sarich was injured July 21 when, according to the Herald, 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. I was bleeding from everywhere, I had so much road rash. … 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."
Sarich, who turned 36 on Aug. 16, 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.
"My diagnosis was, pretty much, as good as it gets … a bit of a mess, but I'm doing well now," he said. "It's been four-and-a-half weeks and it's been a slow recovery."
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.
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