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‘I had to learn to use my hand again’: Wranglers’ Jeremie Poirier battles back from injury

Calgary Wranglers defenceman Jeremie Poirier still bears the scars of a scary injury he suffered earlier this year.

Poirier was on the ice, playing against the Abbotsford Canucks, on Oct. 21 when the injury occurred.

“I just tried to dive for a puck and a guy was jumping over me and he landed right on my arm and caught pretty much everything in my arm,” he said.

“When I pulled up my sleeve and blood started sprinkling up on my visor, helmet and face, I knew it probably wasn’t ideal. I had to rush into the dressing room and put a tourniquet on it to stop the bleeding.”

Concern for Poirier

It was a gruesome injury that Wranglers head coach Trent Cull says he’ll never forget.

“I know people didn’t get a chance to see it here, but when you see blood going everywhere and a guy that’s really concerned, you know right away that something has happened,” he said.

“You’re worried right away about a young man just being OK, never mind playing hockey again.”

Long rehabilitation

Poirier had to have surgery to put everything back together again in his right arm.

It was a long four-and-a-half months of rehabilitation and Poirier admits there were times he wondered if he’d ever play again.

“I lost all feeling in my whole hand, all five fingers,” he said.

“I had to learn how to use my hand again.

“I’d say for the first three months, I couldn’t even hold a glass of water with my hand. I had to learn how to use my hand again from rock-bottom. I had nothing, I couldn’t even lift a pencil.”

Back on the ice

Poirier returned to action a week ago – a testament to how hard he worked to get back.

He says it’s still a work in progress, but things are looking up.

“It gets better every day,” he said.

“It takes a little bit to re-adjust to the new normal, I think, and just get used to what my arm feels like now, but I feel pretty good, in general.”

Points and minutes not as important

Poirier and the Wranglers are back on the ice Monday night to take on the Ontario Reign.

Poirier says when you go through something like this, it makes you appreciate what you have and you never take things for granted.

“I wasn’t too worried about how I play or the amount of minutes I get,” he said.

“I’m just happy to be back on the ice and have some fun playing the game of hockey again and just enjoy being out there with my friends.” 

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