Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Denver's Jesse Martin Has Neck Surgery, Walks for First Time Since Injury

Just wanted to throw up a quick update on Denver senior forward Jesse Martin, who was seriously injured on a hit by North Dakota senior Brad Malone a couple weeks ago. Malone, as you may know, had a hard time dealing with what happened, and Martin actually called him to try to ease his mind.

All around, it's been great to see, because Malone certainly didn't mean to do what he did. While Martin was undoubtedly the victim here, no matter how you slice it, Malone also had to recover in a way. Watching him play Saturday against UMD, it didn't appear he was holding back much.

Malone was suspended for one game, missing Friday's win over UMD, while Martin may never play hockey again (the exact prognosis is still uncertain).

Monday, Martin underwent surgery in the Twin Cities to stabilize multiple C2 neck fractures. His father reports that the operation went well and Martin has a good chance to live a "real good lifestyle."

Martin also walked for the first time since he sustained the injury.

His father said doctors operated through Jesse's throat, and afterward told the family they anticipate Jesse will regain "full range of motion" of his neck.

His hockey career, however, likely ended Oct. 30 when he awkwardly absorbed an open-ice check from North Dakota's Brad Malone in a game at Grand Forks, N.D.

In addition to the C2 fractures, the hit caused trauma to the spinal cord, and Jesse has lost some feeling and strength in his arms.

"The challenge will be that he's had some damage to the spinal cord, some compression," Terry said. "Because of that, he does have some numbness in both arms and a lack of full range of movement in one of his arms.

"They say that there will be a fairly extensive rehab. The prognosis is good, but there is no guarantee there will be full recovery with that, but it should be enough, certainly, for a real good lifestyle."

The college hockey world jumped at the chance to send Martin their best, with Denver fans signing a massive card that was delivered to Martin, and North Dakota fans also having the same chance Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

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