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Eric Staal: Marc Staal 'was in OK spirits' after injury

by Dan Rosen

New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was waiting for the swelling to go down in the area around his right eye before further determination can be made about the extent of his injury, according to his brother, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal.

Marc Staal was injured in the third period Tuesday night when a deflected slap shot hit him in the right eye. Marc Staal, like his brothers Eric and Jordan, who also plays for the Hurricanes, does not wear a visor.

"It's hard to say now. They're just waiting for the swelling to go down," Eric Staal told Eric said he spoke to Marc on Wednesday morning. "He sounded like he was in OK spirits but we don't know a lot right now. Obviously we're saying prayers and hoping he dodged a bullet as far as being struck in that area. We'll know more with some more time."

The Rangers on Wednesday said Marc Staal would be out indefinitely but is expected to make a full recovery.

Eric said Marc "sounded pretty good" during the phone conversation the two had Wednesday morning.

The Hurricanes' captain said he heard about his brother's injury shortly after he came off the ice following Carolina's 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. He said he saw the play shortly thereafter and said he was especially bothered when he witnessed Marc writhing in pain on the ice.

"Ron Francis grabbed me and said, 'Hey, I want to let you know before anyone else tells you, but your brother got hit hard a few minutes ago so I'm letting you be aware of it,' " Eric said. "It was nice of him to tell me. Then I ended up seeing the play and talked to my parents.

"It's scary to see. It's an awful feeling and it made me sick to my stomach seeing him in that pain with his legs kicking. But, it was good to talk to him [Wednesday] and, hopefully, everything is going to be OK."


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