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High school hockey player suffers serious injury

A 16-year-old high school hockey player suffered a serious injury during a weekend game. He received two fractured vertebrae, the type of injury that often results in more permanent spinal cord injuries. In this instance, fortunately, doctors say that the young player is expected to make a full recovery.

In his family, hockey is a treasured sport. In addition to him playing for his high school team, his older brother played for the college team at Miami University in Ohio, and even served as team captain. The injured young player had to undergo back surgery. After it was finished, the doctors declared the operation successful and believe that after he is recovered, he should be fully able to use every part of his body from his head to his toes.

Spinal cord injuries often result from participation in contact sports such as hockey and football. In some instances, schools and teams have been sued for failing to take adequate measures to protect players, such as providing needed equipment like helmets to prohibiting dangerous aspects of play. Players who intentionally violate the rules and cause injuries could also be targeted for lawsuits.

In this case, a player from the opposing team was called for boarding during the game and was thrown out of play. USA Hockey had recently announced enhanced penalties for some rule violations, including boarding. The actions were taken after a study in Canada earlier in the year found that there has been an increase in spinal cord and brain injuries among hockey players during the previous decade and a half.

Chicago Tribune, "Hockey association looking into injury suffered by high school player" John Keilman, Oct. 24, 2013

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