Dorsett returns home amid serious neck injury concerns

Nov 22 2017, 5:31 am

Some concerning news from the Canucks, as Derek Dorsett has left the team as they prepare for tonight’s game in Philadelphia.

Dorsett returned to Vancouver, with concerns that last year’s neck injury is flaring up. Head coach Travis Green said that Dorsett didn’t feel right at practice on Monday, leaving the ice after only about 10 minutes.

While he plays a tough game at the best of times, Dorsett was also involved in a fight last week against Los Angeles, as well as four days earlier in Anaheim.

“Derek Dorsett returned to Vancouver today for precautionary reasons to be evaluated by medical staff,” the Canucks said in a tweet. “His rehab following a cervical fusion procedure last year progressed well, consistent with expectations, and resulted in his fitness to play.”

Dorsett underwent cervical disc surgery in his neck nearly 12 months ago. The recovery was lengthy, causing him to remain out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. He needed to wear a neck brace for eight weeks.

derek dorsett neck injury

Image: Sportsnet

The 30-year-old forward not only wondered if the injury would be career-ending, he worried it would be life-altering.

Not only did Dorsett return, he started off with a bang, leading the team in goals until recently. Dorsett has nine points (7-2-9) while receiving big minutes on the team’s checking line and penalty kill.

Averaging over 15 minutes per game, he’s just five goals away from tying his career high in goals with three-quarters of a season to go.

“Recently, symptoms of neck and back stiffness presented,” the Canucks’ official Twitter account continued. “Given the nature of the injury and surgery, it was determined the best course of action is for a specialist to review his status. Derek will be assessed to determine cause and treatment of the symptoms before any further action is taken.”

Hopefully for Dorsett’s sake the team is just being cautious, but it doesn’t look good given the Canucks are on the road until the end of the month. Players typically don’t leave the team on lengthy road trips unless their injury is serious. The team just flew to Philadelphia on Sunday, making the return home more unusual.

“I think the symptoms just slowly came around over the last week or so,” Green told reporters. “My understanding is that he’s going back to see the surgeon and our doctors, and we’ll know more over the course of the next few days.”

Brendan Gaunce will draw into the lineup in Dorsett’s absence as the Canucks take on the Flyers. It’s the beginning of an Eastern road trip that sees the Canucks play six games in 10 days.

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