As soon as it happened, Colin Chaulk knew he was in trouble
because he remembered the feeling.
Once when he was playing junior hockey in Kingston, Ontario, an opposing player slid into Chaulk's left leg to slice it with a skate around his skate boot's tongue. The same thing happened Friday night in Port
Huron, this time to the rear of his right leg, three inches above the boot and three inches below the calf.
“I just felt the heat and I knew,'' Chaulk said.
The Komets' captain quickly turned to referee Jim Hawthorne who was skating by and said, “Blow it right way, Jimmy, I'm cut bad.'' Hawthorne didn't even look to see which team had possession of the puck before blowing the whistle.
This time Chaulk had been racing to finish his check in the corner against an unidentified Port Huron player. The player jumped to try squeezing by along the boards, but Chaulk hit him anyway with his left shoulder. Somehow the two became tangled, and the Flag's skate sliced the back of Chaulk's leg.
“I was just thinking that I was close enough that I should finish my check,'' Chaulk said. “I can't blame the guy because I try to do the same thing when someone's trying to hit me.''
Chaulk was helped off the ice and taken to Port Huron Hospital where he had four stitches sewn inside the wound and another nine on the outside. He said the wound was about three centimeters long and one centimeter deep.
Tests done at the hospital lead Chaulk and Komets management to believe his Achilles' tendon was not cut, but he's going to see team doctor Greg Sassmannshausen today at Fort Wayne Orthopeadics to make sure.
“It hurts a lot, and I can't walk on it, but it might be something that settles down in a week,'' Chaulk said. “I can't put any weight on it right now, but I can flex it back and fourth. You could tell the tendon was intact when they did all the tests in the hospital, but I can't get up on my tippy toes.''
Chaulk came home that night with Komets General Manager David Franke. Chaulk said he's optimistic and hopes to return in time for the playoffs which start in two weeks. He's definitely out for the Komets' three games this week.
Somewhat luckily, Chaulk had already been taking antibiotics for another recent injury so the chance of infection is reduced.
“The doctors in Port Huron looked at it real close, and they don't think there was any damage to the tendon from what they could see,'' Franke said. “If they think they want to take a look at it as far as making sure that there's no damage then they will do an MRI. Otherwisde, I imagine
it's just going to have to heal itself.''
Chaulk said he hopes Sassmannshausen takes an MRI, even though the results might not be back until the middle of the week.
“I'd like to see them do it because then you know how aggressively you can go about your rehab,'' Chaulk said.