MK LIGHTNING general manager Vito Rausa has described Adam Calder’s injury as the worst he has ever seen in ice hockey.
Calder fell and suffered a fractured hip after a fight towards the end of Lightning’s 3-0 English Premier League defeat at Telford Tigers on Sunday, although no blame has been attached to his opposite number.
After being stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital, the 34-year-old Canadian underwent surgery and has been told not to try and walk for the next three months.
Having only joined the club from Slough Jets in July, the forward – recently inducted into the University of North Dakota hall of fame – was expected to lead the scoring charts for Lightning this season, and his injury has come as a massive blow to everyone connected to the club.
“It’s the sort of injury you usually only see in car crashes,” said Rausa on Thursday morning. “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen in ice hockey.
“The medical experts at the hospital thought Adam might have had some sort of previous injury in that area, but he can’t think of anything. It’s a huge blow to everyone.
“We still believe he is a great goal-scorer. But the early prognosis is not great.
“We don’t hold anyone culpable. The players and staff at Telford were great and we’ve been inundated with messages of support from other players and clubs, which we thank them for.
“He was in extreme pain. None of our players have ever seen anything like it. They didn’t know how serious it was at first, not until they realised how much pain he was in.
“I’m gutted for Adam. I’ll have to sit down with him and talk about things.”
Calder spent three nights in hospital before returning to his home in Coventry on Wednesday. Rausa said the rest of the team returned back to Milton Keynes from Telford in silence, shocked and devastated by the news.
“We have two games against Swindon this weekend and the team will be playing for Adam,” added Rausa. “It has hit them for six, but they will go out there and try to win for him.
“Swindon have just come off a good win against Guildford and will be very confident. We’re really going to need our supporters behind us, more than ever.”