Mayo Clinic is keeping a close eye on hockey players as they return to the ice this season, tracking every major injury that occurs.
The information will enter a national registry for catastrophic hockey injuries at Mayo, funded by USA Hockey, and will be used as an aid for finding ways to prevent injuries and improve treatments.
A total of 107 mostly high school athletes from the Rochester area (84 males and 23 females) were treated for sports-related concussions at Mayo in 2008, said Chad Eickhoff, athletic training coordinator at the Mayo Sports Medicine Center…
Andrew Link, now a Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center research coordinator, said his first brain injury occurred in 2001 when he was struck on the head by a golf ball. He was knocked out and awoke vomiting.
One brain injury raises the risk that you'll have another and Link experienced at least four more as a hockey player. It was during a time when athletes were expected to get back in the game and play through pain.
"I can tell you one thing, I'm glad that I'm out of that part now. I wouldn't want to be getting any more of them," he said, admitting it's hard to advocate for safety when people know about his own past.
Post-Bulletin by Jeff Hansel, 10/16/09