Salo's painful history

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Sami Salo is snake-bitten.

Literally. A bite from a venomous snake in Finland is among the afflictions, ailments and injuries that have befallen the hard luck Canuck.

Vancouver reporters count a mind-boggling 29 different injures in Salo's nine NHL seasons.

Four games after coming back from his 28th, a broken wrist in the pre-season, Salo is down with his 29th: reconstructive surgery after taking a puck in the face from teammate Alex Edler Nov. 1 against Nashville.

His nose and nasal cavities were crushed by the errant puck and he needed two metal plates in his face to hold everything in place.

"The plastic surgeon did a pretty good job," said Salo, meeting the media for the first time since the surgery. "It looks pretty much the same as it did before the accident."

But he's taking his latest recovery slowly.

"They put some hardware in my face and you don't want to start working too hard too early or it might shift.

" I have to give it a little time to heal."

Salo has had nine groin injuries, five shoulder injuries and almost everything possible in between, including complications from the snake bite that cost him a handful of games in 2000.

"In the beginning of the year when I broke my wrist it was a laughing issue, but I don't think it's a laughing issue anymore," he said, adding he'd been relatively healthy till he turned pro.

Of course, it could have been worse. So despite all that's gone wrong for him lately, he hasn't forgotten how to count his blessings.

"When it happened I couldn't see anything out of the eye," he said of his latest injury. "But the good thing was the puck didn't hit me in the eye, just shattered my nose. There was so much swelling that I couldn't see.

"You're a little scared after it happens, but the good thing is I still have my vision."


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