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Ericsson plays three days after appendectomy

Sunday, 05.31.2009 / 12:16 AM / 2009 Stanley Cup Final: Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

By Larry Wigge - NHL.com Columnist

"I've got a scar to show where they cut me and my side is still a little sore.  But there was no way I wasn't going to play in my first chance at being in the Stanley Cup Finals."
-- Jonathan Ericsson on playing just three days after undergoing an appendectomy

DETROIT -- Jonathan Ericsson is the latest hockey player to wonder at the world of medicine.

Less than 48 hours after the 6-5, 206-pound defenseman left Detroit's morning skate and underwent an emergency appendectomy Wednesday afternoon -- hours before the Red Wings clinched Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against Chicago -- he was back at practice Friday. By Saturday night, he was in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Pittsburgh, playing 16:47 in 19 shifts while going plus-1 with one shot on goal, three hits and a blocked shot in the Red Wings' 3-1victory.

"I couldn't believe how good I felt," the 25-year-old defenseman said. "I was strong, not sluggish at all ... though I'm a little tired right now."

Once Ericsson got medical clearance, it was all about overcoming the pain.

But pain to this rugged defenseman is less than missing a chance to see his teammates play, when you consider what he did to watch the Red Wings play a few hours after his surgery.

"They told me that usually you spend the night there (in the hospital), but I didn’t have anywhere to watch the game so they took me in a wheelchair to the car," Ericsson said. "My girlfriend drove me to Joe Louis Arena, and I kind of stumbled in the locker room and watched the game in here."

Missing one game is one thing, but ...

"I don't care if I've got a scar to show where they cut me and that my side is still a little sore," he said. "But there was no way I wasn't going to play in my first chance at being in the Stanley Cup Final."
Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season