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Updated: A 'miracle' Redmond back on ice: doctors

Zach Redmond skated today and his doctors are calling it a miracle.

"I didn’t expect to be back this quick but as the recovery goes on I get better and better news," said Redmond, who skated at MTS Iceplex with teammates Jim Slater and Anthony Peluso this morning. "They keeping pushing the deadline up. It’s awesome. It felt great to be out there."

Injured Jets defenceman  Zach Redmond returns after recovering from a major injury he received during practice that severed a leg artery in the right thigh. He was back at practice today.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Injured Jets defenceman Zach Redmond returns after recovering from a major injury he received during practice that severed a leg artery in the right thigh. He was back at practice today. Photo Store

Injured Jets defenceman  Zach Redmond shows the scar on his upper leg where his femoral artery was cut by a skate blade. The lower scar is one of two incisions doctors made to relieve swelling in his leg.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Injured Jets defenceman Zach Redmond shows the scar on his upper leg where his femoral artery was cut by a skate blade. The lower scar is one of two incisions doctors made to relieve swelling in his leg. Photo Store

The fact Redmond is back on the ice is one incredible step and Winnipeg Jets head physician Dr. Peter MacDonald says it’s "highly probable," Redmond will be in training camp this fall, if not back with the team sooner.

"It’s nothing short of a miracle considering what’s he’s been through," said MacDonald, who put Redmond through a series of tests on Thursday."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."

Redmond had his femoral artery lacerated by teammate Antti Miettinen’s skate during a practice in Raleigh, North Carolina in late February.

"It was a scary injury but they stitched the artery right away and that’s not even a concern anymore. It’s as good as it’s ever going to be. Now it’s just a matter of getting stronger."

The injury was life-threatening and MacDonald said at the time, Redmond’s return to pro hockey was at best a 50-50 prospect.

"Honestly we thought it was 50-50 that he’d ever play again. To have that major insult to the body, he’s lucky to be alive first of all. You don’t even think about playing again at first. He’s amazed us all," said MacDonald. "It’s very high probability that he’ll be in training camp. He’s going to start skating now. We haven’t ruled out, if the Jets were to make the playoffs and go far, we haven’t even ruled out him playing this year."

MacDonald is flabbergasted by Redmond’s recovery.

"We just did strength tests on him and the leg is performing at 75 per cent which is incredible considering all the muscles in his inner thigh were severed. They seem to be healed up fine and there are no residual problems that we can detect. He’s been working real hard back in Michigan. He’s had a positive attitude the whole time and he’s a great kid. It’s really just incredible."

MacDonald says he sees no impediments to Redmond’s return.

"He’s out of the woods. It’s now just a matter of getting his strength back," said MacDonald. "From what we’ve seen so far, it’s very encouraging."

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

@garylawless

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History

Updated on Friday, April 5, 2013 at 10:45 AM CDT: corrects typos

11:06 AM: corrects spelling of MacDonald

11:41 AM: adds Redmond practising with Jim Slater and Anthony Peluso

1:37 PM: Adds quotes from Redmond.

2:47 PM: updates with new art

3:54 PM: adds video

April 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM: corrects typo

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