Jets forward Bryan Little expected to make full recovery after taking shot to the head
Winnipeg Jets' Bryan Little (18) is helped after getting hit in the head with the puck against the New Jersey Devils during third period NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets provided an update Thursday on the health of forward Bryan Little, who was struck in the side of the head by a slap shot during the third period of Tuesday night’s game.
“Bryan Little did take 25 to 30 stiches to repair an area, he has a perforated ear drum,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “Presently a symptom he’s dealing with his vertigo. The positives are our doctors expect him to make a full recovery. I don’t have any timeline for you, let’s just let the healing happen.”
Maurice said the expectation is that Little will be released from the hospital Thursday.
“It’s almost like any other injury; you get through the phase where the traumatic parts over and then you see where you’re at and you go from there,” he said. ”He’s good, he’s in good spirits. One side of his head is bigger than the other, but he’s good.”
"He's doing well, I think he's going to be alright, more importantly,” said captain Blake Wheeler, a teammate of Little’s for the last 10 seasons. “I shot him a few texts back and forth, he seems to be in good spirits so that was good to see."
"It's tough, you never want to see that happen to anyone on either team, especially on your own team,” said Mark Scheifele. “Obviously you wish the best for Bryan, you hope everything's okay and everything's in working order."
The incident happened at the 12:33 mark of the third period, and the game was stopped for several minutes.
“It’s really personal when you see - I can’t really tell from the bench where he gets hit,” said Maurice. “I know he’s got a visor on, but it’s almost worse when there’s not much blood, because you’re thinking he got hit in the eye. That’s where I go, and your stomach gets sick.”
The shot came off the stick of Nikolaj Ehlers, who admitted being shaken up.
"As soon as it happened it was kind of a shock,” he said.” I didn't see exactly where it hit him, I just saw him drop down and saw him start bleeding. You could see he wasn't feeling good. You never want to be the one to injure another player, whether it's from them or a teammate. I've never been in that situation before and it shook me up a little. But the guys and the coaches and the medical staff, they kind of picked me up a little."
“I texted him right after the game and talked to him yesterday, and he’s doing alright. It doesn’t feel great, I know stuff like that can happen, but we’re good.”