Fighting during NHL games is pretty common. Injuries as a result of those fights also happen, but things did not go quite as planned for the Anaheim Ducks’ Kevin Bieksa when he had a one-punch takedown of Radko Gudas of the Philadelphia Flyers on October 24. Bieksa had so much momentum behind his punch that after Gudas fell, Bieksa landed on top of him. While many people who saw the impressive punch might assume that Gudas would be the player who would suffer a lasting injury as a result of the fight, it is actually Bieksa who will be unable to play for a while.
Bieksa took Gudas down with a right-handed punch, but Bieksa apparently suffered a left-handed injury as a result of the fight, possibly suffered because Bieksa tried to use his left hand to brace his fall after punching Gudas. While Randy Carlyle, the Ducks coach, did not elaborate on the injury, he did say that the defenseman is expected to be out for a while. Soon after the injury, Bieksa headed back to Southern California so he could get an evaluation to determine the extent of the injury.
Unfortunately, like happened with Bieksa, hand injuries sometimes happen at unexpected times and in unexpected ways, especially if you are an athlete. It is important to take an injury seriously and not to attempt to play through the pain. Doing so can result in a more serious injury and result in you being out for even longer.
Every athlete is going to get scraped and bruised a little during the course of competition, and not every scrape or bruise needs to be treated by a professional. Several indicators that you may need to see a doctor after a hand injury include excessive swelling, intense pain, and inability to use the injured hand. If the hand looks deformed or there is a bone sticking out, visit a doctor right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can likely return to playing the sport you love.