DETROIT – Kyle Quincey won’t have surgery after all.
This week, doctors decided that the Red Wings’ defenseman, who suffered multiple facial fractures when struck in the face by a puck 10 days ago, would not heal any faster with surgery than without it.
“The incident is pretty scary,” Quincey said, “so (Monday) was the best day in a week and a half, for sure. I was dealing with all of that pain, and getting that good news was … worth it, I guess.”
Injured late in the third period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton on March 15, Quincey hasn’t returned to a regular diet as it still hurts to chew, and he’s experiencing some numbness and sinus problems. He even likened his cheekbone and orbital bone fractures to cracking a hard-boiled egg.
“It just shattered,” he said.
As the Red Wings enjoyed an off-day in Scottsdale, Arizona – they wrap-up a current four-game road trip Thursday in San Jose – Quincey was at Joe Louis Arena where he worked out and skated with teammate Darren Helm on Tuesday morning.
“The doctor couldn’t tell if there was any structural damage or how big the dent was where the puck hit,” Quincey said. “We gave it seven days for the swelling to go down and he said there’s a dent, but it’s not bad enough that he would have to push it back out.”
Originally, the Red Wings thought they’d be without Quincey’s services for a minimum of a month. But that was before a final determination was made regarding surgery. Now that doctors have charted a course for recovery, Quincey could be back in the Wings’ lineup in 2-3 weeks.
“With surgery I would have missed significantly more time,” he said. “The numbers that were getting thrown around were four to six weeks and then you take a look at the schedule and you think first round (of the playoffs), end of the first round. It was pretty devastating, so to get the news was great.
“In my mind there is no timeframe. Just taking it day by day right now, which I think is the right thing to say. But it’s looking closer to three weeks than six, and that’s good.”
Quincey was injured has he attempted to block a shot by Oilers forward Jordan Eberle. But the puck rode up Quincey’s stick and struck him in the face.
“The first thing that went through my mind was as a kid growing up in Toronto watching “Coach’s Corner” with Don Cherry every Saturday and he always said, ‘Leave that shot for the goalie,’ ” Quincey said. “But it’s a tough play for a D-man because you’re taught now that it’s stick on puck. You don’t let him shoot that because it’s a tough save for Jimmy (Howard) to control that rebound; you don’t know who’s coming down the pipe for the rebound.”
But given the same situation, he’d do the same thing, Quincey said.
“It’s a minute and a half left in a tie game, in a huge game for us and we had just gotten that tying goal,” he said. “You try to do everything in your control to try to keep the puck away from your net. … It’s a good defensive play when you get your stick on those pucks, and you turn your head because you know it’s coming close to you. But it’s tough.”
Quincey, 27, has produced one goal, one assist and has a plus-8 rating in 26 games this season. He missed a couple of games with an ankle injury last month.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate,” he said. “With my ankle injury I think I missed just two games, so I pop back from injuries pretty good. Hopefully the trend continues.”
Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose
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