On July 21, defenseman Cory Sarich was involved in a bike accident that very nearly cost him his life.
According to the Calgary Herald, Sarich was biking near his summer home in British Columbia when he skidded underneath a pickup truck that failed to signal a left-hand turn; the truck's right rear tire drove over his back, nearly crushing his body. As a result, Sarich "suffered five cracked vertebrae, burns on his shoulder and wrist from the truck’s muffler, a swollen left arm and leg, a large laceration on his head and a serious case of road rash."
Sarich recalled the incident:
The first thing in my mind was, ‘I’m not going to die here right now, so let’s get this thing moving.' I wasn’t sure the severity of my injuries. I’d worn all the ends of my fingertips off. I was bleeding from everywhere, I had so much road rash. My helmet was busted up in probably seven or more pieces. It was just in pieces hanging by the chinstrap and was actually choking me, so good thing I had that on because it helped in saving my life.
Sarich was airlifted to a local hospital, and said he's recovering as well as can be expected. “My diagnosis was, pretty much, as good as it gets ... a bit of a mess, but I'm doing well now. It’s been four-and-a-half weeks and it’s been a slow recovery.”
He added that he plans on keeping the helmet as a "teaching aid" but is unlikely to bike again.
As far as his hockey career goes, the 36-year-old father of three admits he's taking things day-by-day at this point.
Something like that kind of makes you rearrange your priorities. My agent obviously had made some calls and I was busy living a normal life again. I was just starting to golf again, working out, riding the bike, running, all that stuff. This has thrown a big wrinkle into it and I don’t know what’s going to happen. But right now, my priority is to get healthy. I want to get myself back in shape regardless if hockey is an option moving forward. I’m just going to play it by ear from here.
The unrestricted free agent said he is touched by the outpouring of support he received from former teammates and coaches.
Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea