WINNIPEG — Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba has at least two weeks ahead of him in a neck brace but his Friday night stay in hospital was short and he stood smiling and answered several minutes' worth of questions from reporters this morning at the MTS Iceplex.
The 19-year-old rookie went crashing into the boards face first early in the second period Friday against the St. Louis Blues. He was carried off on a stretcher with his neck immobilized but never lost consciousness during the episode.
He was released from hospital late Friday night after some X-rays and other tests.
He tweeted early Saturday morning: "If you were wondering, the boards are not edible. I’ll be back soon."
Nobody was putting a time frame on his absence but it could well get to a month.
"I’ve got to wear this for a couple of weeks and then get re-evaluated," Trouba told reporters this morning. "That’s where we’re at right now."
On the play, during Winnipeg’s 4-3 shootout win, he was going hard into the offensive zone after a puck. It was hard to tell if he was trying to get the puck or hit Blues defenceman Jordan Leopold.
"I don’t know," he chuckled, like he hadn’t thought about exactly what the plan had been. "I think I was trying kind of hit him with my hip and I just kind of, when I turned my right foot, caught his skate and didn’t really get around. I didn’t really have much time to react, kind of fell."
There was lots to think about during the long delay in the game.
"I think I was more scared than anything," Trouba said. "I went in pretty hard. My neck was sore so they didn’t really want me to move it. I probably could have gotten up and skated off but they didn’t want me to move. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t, just to be careful. That’s why they’re there."
The team is calling the injury a neck sprain. It has put Trouba on the injured reserve list and called up Adam Pardy from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps in time for Sunday’s home start against the Nashville Predators.
Trouba said he was able to call his family on Friday night to tell them he was OK.
"I called my parents, my brothers," he said. "They were watching it, driving down to Miami of Ohio with my little brother for some games and they were watching on their phone so they didn’t see it too clearly or know what happened. They were glad to hear from me."