Long road to recovery

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

It isn't too often a hockey executive loses interest in the outcome of his team' playoff game.

That was the case last spring when Swift Current Broncos assistant GM Elden Moberg stared in horror as Calgarian Colin Stone lay on the ice convulsing after suffering a head injury.

Stone absorbed a hit that knocked his helmet off and as he fell, his head hit the boards and then the ice.

"It was the scariest moment I've ever experienced at a game," Moberg recalls. "It was the playoffs, which is supposed to be an exciting time.

"I don't want to say I didn't care (about the win or loss) but after the game, it took all the elements that hockey is about and made it clear humanity and life were more important."

Watching his unconscious player, Moberg knew immediately Stone's injury was serious.

"Usually you see a sign of movement, where a player will move his leg or something. But the only movement with Colin was that he was having spasms," Moberg says.

"The medical team that was attending to him, you could tell in their demeanor, they were concerned. It gave me a sick feeling in my stomach."

Stone was eventually moved to Calgary but didn't regain consciousness for 10 days.

"I woke up in the Foothills Hospital about a week and a half later but everything was pretty blurry," Stone says. "I don't remember much."

Stone, 18, hasn't played a game since suffering the injury March 17.

He stayed behind in Calgary after his Swift Current Broncos left the 'Dome following Sunday's 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen.

"The neurologists are doing some tests (today) to see how my head's doing," he says. "And I have to see the doctor again before Christmas. I'll get more of a verdict then.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed."

In the best-case scenario Stone would return to the lineup around Jan. 1 but Moberg says it could be longer.

"We'd like to see him back sooner rather than later but we're certainly not going to rush anything," Moberg said.

Stone, who had 11 goals and 22 points in 67 games last season, was expected to be a big part of the Broncos attack this year.

"We're pretty inexperienced up front," Moberg says. "Colin played for us as a 16- and 17-year-old and made strides both years.

"As an 18-year-old, you hope to see a player make a significant impact with your team. He would play in more offensive situations and hopefully seize the day.

"But with Colin, it's more than just points. He's a character guy who battles every shift. He's gritty and competitive and that rubs off on other guys."

His older brother, Ryan, is on fire with the Brandon Wheat Kings and sits second in league scoring with 21 points.

Colin was able to work out with his sibling during the summer in hopes of returning.

"The doctor told me to push myself and whenever I feel any symptoms to take a step back."

He hasn't had a headache in quite awhile but still suffers from fatigue.

"It's been tough. But everything I went through, I definitely don't want to have it happen again," Colin says. "I'm going to take it slow and hopefully get the OK from the doctor. I'm gradually getting better. I just have to take my time."


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