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Trent McCleary, Center for the Montreal Canadians

PREVENTION

The injury, caused by a blunt trauma, cannot be avoided except by protecting the area. If McCleary, or any other NHL player, were willing to wear a protective neck shield, this injury would not occur. But given the fact that the injury is extraordinarily uncommon, players do not sacrifice comfort and flexibility for the added protection. Goalies, however, do wear a shield around their neck for protection.

RECOVERY

McCleary can return to walking and daily life within a week or so, but he will need longer to recover to the point where he can again play hockey. The collapsed lung alone would keep him out for 4-6 weeks, and the fractured larynx alone would keep him out for about 3 months. Over that time, he will be regaining strength and lung capacity, as well as letting the larynx heal.

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK

The injuries that McCleary suffered will in no way affect his physical ability to play hockey. However, his voice will likely be altered due to the injury.

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