Penguins’ Pascal Dupuis vows to play in NHL again after blood clots

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February 27, 2015 4:05 PM ET

Pascal Dupuis (right) has vowed to return to action following treatment for blood clots. (USATSI)
Pascal Dupuis, right, has vowed to return to action following treatment for blood clots. (USATSI)

The Pittsburgh Penguins sure miss veteran forward Pascal Dupuis, and have for the better part of the last two seasons.

After suffering a severe knee injury last year, Dupuis developed blood clots that ended up in one of his lungs. He recovered and returned to action in 2014-15, only to have the blood clots come back, ending his season after just 16 games.

It has been a difficult time for the 35-year-old veteran winger who had 11 points before going down with the clots. However, considering the severity of his condition, he is quite possibly lucky to be alive.

In a piece written for ThePlayersTribune.com, Dupuis admitted to playing through the blood clots without ever telling anyone on the team that he was experiencing the symptoms again. He made it through five games before finally taking himself to the hospital.

More from Dupuis:

I would not recommend this to anyone but the truth is that I played five more NHL games without one-third of a lung. My knee was genuinely sore, so I asked for some anti-inflammatories, which helped with the pain a little bit. My training was so overboard that the blood clot didn’t affect my conditioning. I played my best game of the year in Toronto, a few days after I felt the clot. We won 2-1, and I scored both goals. It was my first game back on the line with [Sidney Crosby] and [Chris Kunitz]. That’s the line I love playing on. I’m like, “I’m back, baby!”

I was lying to myself. We were on the road. I was away from my family, around the guys doing what I love. It was easy to be in denial. Then the road trip ended and we returned to Pittsburgh. When I walked in the door and saw my wife and kids again, that was it.

I went to our team’s head trainer, Chris Stewart. “Hey Stewie, I think I maybe felt something,” I said. I might want to go get checked.”

Of course, Dupuis was found to have a blood clot again after testing. Had he gone much longer playing through it, there was a chance the clot could have traveled to his heart and killed him.

In his piece, Dupuis explained the mentality of a hockey player and that he had convinced himself he wasn’t human and to not admit he was feeling pain. That’s obviously a dangerous mentality in this situation. It could have cost Dupuis his life, but it is hardly shocking that he concealed his injury and briefly lived in denial about what he was experiencing. Hockey players are warriors in their own minds and often have that fed by this outside perception that they’ll play through anything.

Players are regularly playing hurt, sometimes even through injuries that they have no business playing through, like concussions or ligament injuries that put them at risk for greater harm. Dupuis’ candid article should serve as a warning sign that players have to be honest about what they’re going through and seek proper care. It shouldn’t be asking a lot of them, but it is. Players want to play for plenty of reasons, not the least of which is that they very much buy into that warrior mentality that they’re invincible.

Despite all he has been through, Dupuis still has a strong desire to continue playing. As he explained:

I’m 35. I know I don’t have much time left. But I’m getting out of that press box prison. I don’t care if it takes six months or a year or two years. I will get healthy. I will play in the National Hockey League again.

Hopefully Dupuis is able to make a full recovery to continue his career, but obviously only if he’s fully healthy. After this season, he has two years remaining on his contract with the Penguins.

In 853 career games, Dupuis has 405 points. In addition to Pittsburgh, he has played for the Minnesota Wild, Atlanta Thrashers and briefly for the New York Rangers. He was signed by Minnesota as an undrafted free agent out of the QMJHL in 2000.

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John Brooks’ header to send the US past Ghana. Brazil’s epic collapse. Mario Gotze’s clinching goal in the final. We hand out awards for the best moments in Brazil. Story “,”synopsis”:”World Cup in review”,”photo”:{“width”:”231″,”seq_no”:”1″,”content_id”:”24620624″,”href”:”$IMAGE_SERVER/u/photos/soccer/img24620624.jpg”,”height”:”130″},”href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24620523/cbssportscom-2014-fifa-world-cup-awards-best-moments”,”title”:”World Cup’s best moments”},”headlines”:[{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24622027/world-cup-final-sets-usa-television-record-with-265-million-viewers”,”content”:”Cup final sets ratings mark for soccer on US TV”},{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24621936/watch-massive-crowd-celebrates-germanys-world-cup-victory”,”content”:”Massive crowd toasts German team in Berlin”},{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24620830/maradona-claims-messis-golden-ball-award-just-a-marketing-plan”,”content”:”Maradona: Messi undeserving of Golden Ball”},{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24620634/world-cup-2018-odds-germany-early-favorite-to-repeat-us-50-to-1″,”content”:”Germany early favorite for the 2018 World Cup”},{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24620345/brazil-coach-luiz-felipe-scolari-out-after-disastrous-end-to-world-cup”,”content”:”Brazil boots manager after ugly World Cup finish”},{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24619193/report-suarez-will-lose-millions-from-barcelona-if-he-bites-anyone”,”content”:”Suarez will lose millions from Barca if he bites”},{“href”:”http://www.cbssports.com/world-cup/eye-on-world-cup/24615958/fifa-world-cup-final-germany-vs-argentina-preview”,”content”:”Germany edges Argentina to win ’14 World Cup”}]}};
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Article source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/25084081/penguins-pascal-dupuis-vows-to-play-in-nhl-again-after-blood-clots

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