Props to commenter broag for bringing this to Pens Points, Pascal Dupuis wrote a really good piece that you have to check out now.
Last February we were wondering here why it took him so long to have surgery to repair his knee when he was quietly on blood thinners to deal with a blood clot that moved from his leg to his lung. Once that was managed he had the surgery and had to rehab to return, which seemed like enough of an obstacle for a 35 year old undrafted player that's been a career overachiever.
But he was able to return from the injury and clot in time for this season and all looked great. Then a clot returned to his lung. This portion of Dupuis' piece is chilling:
This time, I felt something physically going through my body. It caught me like a punch in the chest. Instantly, I do the math. Come on. Not again.
I’m hunched over and guys are looking me at me. I lied and said I must have pulled a muscle on a shot. Call me stupid but I didn’t say anything to anyone about it. Not my teammates. Not my trainers. Not my wife. The hockey player in me — he’s saying it’s nothing. He’s thinking, You just battled through eight months of rehab for your knee. Everyone was second-guessing you. You’re 35. This is it.
I finished practice.
I would not recommend this to anyone but the truth is that I played five more NHL games without ⅓ of a lung.
There's other great nuggets about his foray into pseudo-coaching and how great the team has been to keep him around, but it's clear to see that Dupuis hates being off the ice and not playing. He mentions that he must look out for his and his family's best interests in the future, but also steadfastly closes the article with a promise that he will play in the NHL again.
Let's hope his desire and will to continue can be matched by a full and permanent medical clearance.
In November when Dupuis started another round of blood thinners, it was announced that he would stay on that regiment for at least 6 months. That would keep him out until May 18th, at the earliest. Even then, he would have to be in very fine form to return to NHL playoff level hockey....If the Penguins are even still playing by that point in the calendar. Last year the season ended on May 13. If Dupuis is to return this year, the Penguins will have to make it to the Conference Finals, if not Stanley Cup finals, to give him that chance if he's medically cleared.
Ideally the story gets a fairy tale ending, but reading the chilling article and it's easy to see there is a lot more uncertainty for Dupuis than for a common injury with a known timetable for recovery.