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We all know that it takes a hell of a lot of skill to become a professional athlete. But, in addition to talent, a person has to have some guts and a high pain tolerance, too—because some of the hits players in sports like rugby, football, hockey and even basketball are devastating.
When it comes to toughness, though, there may be no athletes who display it more than hockey players, who participate in the fastest game on earth by skating up and down on a sheet of ice, decking one another for the chance at possessing a little rubber puck.
At times, that little puck can do some serous damage, too, inflicting more pain than a gnarly body-check to the boards.
And Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Zach Werenski has a nasty facial injury as proof of that.
Playoff hockey... pic.twitter.com/4GNoLYVECu— Zach Werenski (@ZachWerenski) April 17, 2017
Talk about disgusting, right?
The defenseman sustained the injury when a Phil Kessel shot deflected off Werenski’s own stick and hit him square in the face, causing him to bleed profusely as he made his way to the bench—leave it to friendly fire to bring a man down.
Even as grotesque as Werenski's mangled face looks, the 19-year-old is so tough that he actually returned to the playoff game in which it happened against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately, once the game went into overtime, he was unable to continue playing, with the eye so swollen that he couldn't see out of it.
Thanks to the devastating injury, the Blue Jackets will be without Zach Werenski for the remainder of the playoffs—which may not last much longer, seeing as how they're down to the Penguins 0-3 in the best-of-seven playoff series.
Still, Werenski's a finalist for the Calder Trophy—given to the NHL's top rookie—so this loss stings the Blue Jackets. Not as bad as the sting of a puck to Zach Werenski's face, though. Here's to a quick recovery.