Columbus Cottonmouths

Late Thanksgiving

       Though Thanksgiving has passed, Snakes fans have a couple of big reasons to be thankful...

       Orrin Hergott is back on the ice and Derek Pallardy will be back soon.

       As I told ya'all last weekend, Orrin looked TERRIBLE on Friday night. Very un-Orrin-like, expressionless, kind of a dull look in his eyes. Told him my assessment this morning. He was thrilled haha.

       Apparently, Orrin turned a corner this week. He practiced yesterday and today and is due for some contact tomorrow. Or, as Jerome said: "we're going to rough him up a bit". That sounded worse than what they intend to do. Really. They'll have him battle for the puck in the corners, etc. and, unless something unexpected happens, number 11 will be back in the lineup on Friday night against Fayetteville. YAY.

      More good news. I spent a few minutes with Derek this morning. My forensic analysis of his injuries: "it doesn't look as bad as I was afraid it would be." Derek, too, was happy to hear my diagnosis. :)

      Derek has a broken nose, black eye (actually, it's lovely shades of green and yellow, with a little purple and black thrown in...quite colorful!). He was scheduled to hit the bike on Wednesday afternoon after being symptom free and feeling better each day. If Derek has no headaches after riding the bike, skating is the next step, followed by contact.

      I've said it many times before, I'm so glad that Jerome is so conservative and ultra-cautious about head injuries. Orrin had a concussion and Derek lost consciousness for several minutes, so the Snakes are really watching their recovery closely.

      I talked with John Sullivan for a story to run on Friday. I asked him how many times he had to start the protocol over... the cycle: bike, skating, contact...because the symptoms reappeared. John thinks it was 3 times. A concussion is a tricky thing. You don't have a cast or splint, so you don't look like anything's wrong. But it can be a tough recovery.

       If all goes well on the bike, Derek will hit the ice possibly as soon as Friday morning, but don't look for number 22 in the lineup this weekend. Hopefully, we'll see Derek back next weekend.

      I was watching the webcast when Derek fell to the ice and was knocked out. It was a terribly long wait until I saw the magic indicators that he was going to be all right. Derek wiggled his hands and feet. That's when I realized I'd been holding my breath. Time to exhale.

      The medical personnel worked on him a while longer, strapped him to the stretcher and put the neck brace in place. As he was wheeled off, Derek gave the thumbs up sign. Great...but he has no memory of doing that! Derek's next memory is in the ambulance when he was asked his birthday and other routine questions, which he was able to answer.

     When the game was over, the bus headed to the hospital, hoping Derek wouldn't have to stay overnight and they could bring him home. It was after 2 AM, but they did just that.

     Well, they came home after a slight detour to switch buses. The bus experienced technical difficulties, so they had to rendezvous with another bus and switch for the trip home. What a night!!

      Back to work on the story for Friday. Big pair of games with first-place Fayetteville coming up this weekend.

      Stay tuned.