SUN Hockey Pool

Hall lucky his throat wasn't 'sliced'

Oilers forward Taylor Hall's  vicious injury after his forehead was cut by a teammate's skate...

Oilers forward Taylor Hall's vicious injury after his forehead was cut by a teammate's skate during a pregame warmup. (ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI/QMI Agency)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:42 PM ET

ST. LOUIS - While the left side of Taylor Halls face looks like it should be chasing terrified townsfolk around a haunted castle, the rest of him intends to be back chasing pucks within a week.

The Oilers winger re-surfaced on Thursday for the first time since being cut from eyebrow to scalp in a frightening skate blade accident during a pre-game warm-up Tuesday in Columbus and says other than the gruesome 30-stitch gash and badly-swollen eye, hes fine.

I feel pretty good, I just cant see too well with the eye, said the 20-year-old franchise player. Im feeling better every day since the time it happened. When the freezing came out it was pretty painful but Im not feeling too much pain now.

I got some exercise in this morning and it held up - my face didnt swell up too much - so Im looking forward to getting back as soon as possible.

His memories of Tuesday night go from foggy to bloody in a heartbeat. He stepped on a puck while moving at a decent clip, took the legs out from Ladislav Smid and they both slid into Corey Potter, who tried to jump out of the way, only to kick Halls head on the way down.

I remember that I didnt feel too much pain. I thought it was just a little cut, said Hall. But I knew right away, when the blood was coming out pretty bad, that it was serious. I just tried to get into the room as fast as possible and slow the bleeding down.

The Columbus medical staff was pretty good at what they did. We were fortunate to have a plastic surgeon at the arena who did a really good job on me.

The expert handiwork should lessen scarring in the long run, but the black eye and six-inch (15 cm) cut are pretty gruesome right now.

It doesnt look good, thats for sure, he chuckled. I looked a lot better before, but what can you do?

Its lucky and its unlucky. You can say Im lucky that I didnt get my eye taken out or my throat sliced or Im unlucky because something like this has never happened in the history of the sport with how many guys have not worn a helmet in warm-up.

It just a bad bounce, kind of the way injuries have gone for this team. Just a bad break for me and the team.

Hall rode the bike after the stitches were in, so he could warm his legs up before getting in the game, but the wound swelled and started bleeding, so they shut him down for the night.

They had to hold me back a little to make sure it was safe.

When Hall wasnt at practice on Wednesday, a radio guy out of Toronto guessed that he was done for the year and the rumour went viral, adding more stress to an already stressful situation.

For someone to come out, after a day, and say that I was done for the season is a little extreme, said Hall, whose phone went crazy with activity. Im not going to be out of the line-up for too long. I want to get back as soon as possible. When the swelling settles down Ill be back in the line-up doing the best I can.

Right now hes aiming for Saturday night against Calgary, although that might be somewhat optimistic.

I want to get a helmet on and see how that feels and get a couple of bumps in. Theres no for sure. I just want to get back as soon as possible and if Saturday is that time, Im going to play.

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@Sunmedia.ca

TWITTER.com/SUN_TYCHKOWSKI


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