Drew O’Connor has been a bit on the fringes of the lineup and roster for a while, he played one game recently on January 2nd and then was added to the COVID list.
When O’Connor returned, it was out in California, playing January 13th against Los Angeles and then again on January 15th against San Jose. The Penguins returned from the west coast soon after and announced O’Connor was on the injured reserve with an unspecified injury. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli was able to specify just what the injury was, and, look out!
When Pittsburgh Penguins forward Drew O’Connor missed time with what was initially reported as an undisclosed injury, there wasn’t much cause for concern.
During the Ice Breakers segment on Thursday’s episode of The Daily Faceoff Show, Frank Seravalli revealed O’Connor suffered a collapsed lung on Jan. 15 against San Jose and how he has recovered since.
Seravalli: “If you notice, he only played 5:36 in that game in San Jose. During that game, he had trouble breathing. Got to Vegas and got treatment. They discovered the collapsed lung – got him all the treatment he needed.
“I think what’s really interesting about the scenario and had some people initially worried is, Drew O’Connor entered the COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 4. The initial concern right away was, is this injury, this collapsed lung, at all related to COVID?
“The answers from all doctors to this point has been: ‘No.’ That this is just a total separate occurrence. Sometimes these injuries happen that can be as a result of a hit. Nobody’s sure exactly how or why.
“But it’s been a long road back for Drew O’Connor in the last couple weeks. He had to be driven from Vegas, all the way back to Pittsburgh, a two-day ordeal.
“The Penguins are hoping that he can begin skating here in the next couple days, and be back in the lineup in the next few weeks.”
Collapsed lung is a new one, even for a team that has suffered more than its share of weird and wild injuries from “getting hurt celebrating a goal” to “squat rack trapping 300 pounds on a player” to “on ice wiffleball injury”, this is a new one.
Being unable to fly with his lung in that condition, Google Maps shows it is almost a 2,200 mile drive from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh. That only adds misery as the cherry on top to have to be in a car for 30+ hours over two days to get back home, while oh yeah, dealing with a collapsed lung.
Tough times for Drew O’Connor right now, but the silver lining looks like he could be expected back on the ice to practice soon. O’Connor was place on long-term injured reserve, so he will not be eligible to play for 24 days from January 15th, his return to playing isn’t imminent, but at least he’s got a good story to tell in the future about driving through Nebraska and Iowa?