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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

CT scan shows neck injury continues to heal


Erik Cole

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that left wing Erik Cole will not return to the team’s lineup this season. The decision was made on Friday following the results of a CT scan on Cole’s injured neck.

“The CT scan shows that Erik continues to make excellent progress through healthy healing, but it wouldn’t be prudent to allow him to return to a contact sport such as professional hockey at this time,” said Head Physician/Orthopedist Dr. Doug Martini. “He’s made excellent progress physically, and diagnostic tests show that he continues to improve.”

Cole suffered a fractured vertebra on March 4 when he was hit from behind by Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik in the third period of Carolina’s 7-5 win. Cole resumed skating last week and has practiced with the Hurricanes in recent days. Orpik received a three-game suspension for the hit.

Prior to his injury, Cole notched 30 goals and earned 29 assists in 60 regular-season games for the Hurricanes. Carolina drafted the Oswego, NY, native in the third round, 71st overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Following three years at Clarkson University, Cole turned professional in 2000-01. In four NHL seasons, he has scored 78 goals and earned 90 assists (168 points) in 274 regular-season games, all with Carolina.

The Hurricanes will host Game 5 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series against the Buffalo Sabres at the RBC Center on Sunday (7:30 p.m., OLN, Hurricanes Radio Network). Tickets to all third-round playoff games at the RBC Center are available at the arena box office, all TicketMaster locations, by calling 919-834-4000 or via

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