Friday’s health and safety news surrounding sports:
* Grantland.com’s Katie Baker wrote that Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators may have suffered the worst injury in sports when his Achilles’ tendon was cut by an opponent’s skate blade.
I’ve seen broken noses and pucks to the eye and kicks to the balls and enough heads snapping back after hitting the field or the ice or the court or the boards to give me a sympathy concussion. And yet, having watched all these things, there’s really no injury that affects me on a more visceral level than one that involves an Achilles. Even thinking about it makes me wince in prolonged Peter Griffin-style pain. Maybe it’s some deep-seated Greek mythology that I’ve over-internalized, or maybe it’s just that unlike the ligaments in your knee, or the discs in your back, or the depths of your brain, your Achilles is always tangibly there, reminding you, every time you put on your shoes or pull up your socks, of all the work it can and does do.
* CBC.ca reported that the injury could have been prevented had he worn a protective sock.
But NHL players are adults. Just like the visor issue, they have a choice of how much protective equipment they want to don. Some players like to go barefoot, like the legendary Bobby Orr. But there are sleeves for the sockless.
Usually, players employ protective measures like a Kevlar sock when a teammate is injured by a skate blade. For example, more than 50 percent of the Carolina Hurricanes now wear cut-resistant socks after seeing injuries of this nature suffered by defenceman Joe Corvo, forward Chad Larose and goalie Cam Ward.
* Players told the Austin American-Statesman that hockey and fighting go hand-in-hand.
* WRALSportsfan.com wrote about the advancements in concussion research that are being made at the University of North Carolina.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor