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'Can't expect much recovery'

01/05/2012, 2:28pm CST
By CURT BROWN, Star Tribune

Jack Jablonski's doctor says it's 'very unlikely' he'll regain arm use from the elbows down


Dr. Walter Galicich discusses the surgery of Jack Jablonski on Thursday, Jan. 5 at a press conference at HCMC in Minneapolis.

The neurosurgeon who operated on Jack Jablonski, the Benilde-St. Margaret's High School hockey player paralyzed from a hit last week during a game, outlined a somber long-term prognosis Thursday for the sophomore and said "we can't expect much recovery."

Along with no use of his legs, Dr. Walter Galicich said in a news briefing that it's "very unlikely" that Jablonski will regain the use of his arms from the elbows down.

Playing in a junior varsity tournament game in St. Louis Park vs. Wayzata, Jablonski was hit twice near the boards. It was the second check that proved the most damaging. The offending player was penalized and ejected from the game.

Jablonski underwent surgery Wednesday at Hennepin County Medical Center, and the family released a statement a few hours later saying he would never walk again.

The injury has unleashed an outpouring a grief and support for Jablonski, with prayers and well wishes from NHL players, rival high school teams and everyday people with no association to the sport or the teenager.

"It's our job to be realistic and the family's job to be optimistic," Galicich added Thursday, "and hopefully he is going to prove me wrong. But we can't expect much recovery."

The doctor added that "Jack is a terrific kid. He and his family are devastated by this tragedy but are handling it as good as can be expected."

Curt Brown • 612-673-4767

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