Red Wings' Mike Modano talks about wrist injury for first time
By HELENE ST. JAMES
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Red Wings forward Mike Modano knew the second he looked into his glove just how bad his injury was. All he saw was blood.
Modano spoke Monday for the first time since undergoing surgery Saturday to repair a severed tendon and nerve damage in his right wrist. He was hurt last Friday night when he was cut accidentally by the skate of Columbus forward R.J. Umberger.
"Once the skate hit me, the pain was really sharp, and I knew something was wrong," Modano said in a telephone interview with the Free Press. "When I looked in the glove and saw the type of bleeding there was, I knew something was really wrong. I knew it wasn't going to be good news."
For starters, Modano is looking at eight weeks in a cast that immobilizes his arm. Modano said specialist who performed the operation, Dr. Richard Singer, is "very hands-on and is concerned not just about me playing hockey again but about my quality of life."
The Wings are hoping, but far from certain, that Modano, a Westland native, will be back for the playoffs. They signed him specifically to boost their offense, seeing the 40-year-old all-star as a perfect, veteran addition. On his end, it was a chance to come home after 21 years with the Stars franchise.
"I'd be devastated if my career ends like this," he said. "Hopefully I can come back and play. But this has been a real bummer."
Arm Immobilized, He's Coping
Modano surfaced from the anesthesia to see rubber bands looped through stitches sewn into his fingernails.
It's part of the dramatic recovery Modano faces. Instead of being with his teammates tonight in San Jose as they take on the Sharks, Modano is holed up at his suburban Detroit home, looking at a probable eight weeks in a cast that has immobilized his entire right arm.
"I'm learning to eat left-handed," he said. "I'm pretty limited."
After he was hurt Friday night, Modano, 40, skated off holding his wrist, and his suspicion about the injury's severity was underscored when team trainers made an appointment for him the following morning with hand specialist Dr. Richard Singer, who performed the surgery right away. When he came to, Modano wondered about those rubber bands.
Hope he can get back to contributing soon.