Talk about your remarkable comeback stories.
On Feb. 21, Jets defenseman Zach Redmond suffered a lacerated femoral artery and lost nearly two pints of blood after a skate cut from teammate Antti Miettinen.
Today, it was announced he’s ready to play.
Redmond has been sent to AHL St. John’s on a conditioning assignment, the team announced on Wednesday.
It marks one of the final steps in a ‘miraculous’ recovery from an injury that put Redmond’s chances of return to pro hockey at 50-50, according to Jets team physician Dr. Peter McDonald.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle considering what’s he’s been through,” McDonald said. “We’re all aware of what happened.
“Considering the magnitude of the injury and the insult, not only to the leg but the whole body, it’s quite miraculous.”
At the time of the incident, Jets head athletic therapist said Redmond’s laceration was “easily the most grave incident” he’s been a part of during his 12-year career.
Judging by this photo of Redmond’s leg, you can see why:
That picture is the result of some critical response on the part of medical officials and intense rehab from Redmond, who spent significant time in a Raleigh hospital before returning to Winnipeg for testing — and a nice standing ovation from Jets fans.
McDonald couldn’t believe how quickly the 24-year-old rebuilt the strength in his leg.
“We did strength tests on [Redmond] and the leg is performing at 75 per cent, which is incredible considering all the muscles in his inner thigh were severed,” McDonald said in early April. “They seem to be healed up fine and there are no residual problems that we can detect.”
Prior to getting hurt, Redmond was enjoying a successful rookie campaign, scoring 1G-3A-4PTS in eight games while averaging 19:35 time on ice per contest.