GLENDALE – Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker is on the road to recovery after emergency spleen surgery last month.
"The most important thing is I’m as healthy as I can be after a surgery like that and I’m getting better," Boedker said before Saturday’s game vs. Detroit. "Positive steps every day."
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
Boedker had his spleen removed on Jan. 18 in Winnipeg just a few hours after absorbing a check by Jets defenseman Mark Stuart midway through the second period of a game being played at the MTS Centre. It was a routine hit, but what happened next was anything but routine.
Boedker said he felt pain after the hit but kept playing. That changed early in the third period when the pain intensified and he decided he couldn’t continue. Soon after leaving the bench, Boedker was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital to be examined. It was there it was determined that his spleen had ruptured and it was quickly removed by surgeons.
Boedker, 25, spent the next five days in that Winnipeg hospital and five more at a friend’s house there before returning to Arizona. He has lost 20 pounds since the surgery.
"I’m getting better," Boedker said. "I feel small improvements every day... People ask me every day how I’m doing and the hard thing is I can’t explain how I’m doing but I can feel I’m doing a little better every day."
Boedker, who has started taking daily walks in his neighborhood, reunited with his teammates on Thursday after the team’s morning skate in Scottsdale. He then attended the home game vs. Carolina that night and watched from the press box. On Friday, he watched his teammates practice and on Saturday he watched them play the Red Wings at Gila River Arena.
Boedker said it’s too soon to discuss his return to the lineup.
"It’s going to be a long process," Boedker said. "I keep looking forward to the small steps… We have doctors of high caliber here. I think the most important thing is just to listen to them and just make sure I take the right actions."
He added, "I’m still pretty sore. I feel it. I’m aware of it."
At the time of his injury, Boedker was leading the team in goals with 14 and was on pace to top his career-high for goals in a season (19) set last season.
Boedker said he plans to remain close to the team as he continues to recover.
"Obviously I love hockey and I’m a hockey fan," Boedker said. "…I’ll be coming to the games and I’ll be out watching practice wishing I was out there… When you’re not in the room all the time you kind of miss that and miss the guys making a joke, so I don’t want to be too far away from that. I kind of want to be in the room as much as I can."