(Quebec) While his teammates were still celebrating the Stanley Cup they won the week before, the Los Angeles Kings forward, Simon Gagne, was on a surgery table. The June 18th, he underwent a surgery to remove a mass in his neck the size of a tennis ball. For the #12 the procedure could be the answer to the pain he felt in the last few seasons.
For three years, Simon Gagne was living with this mass in his neck. Neither Flyers nor Lighning doctors dared to touch it. Ironically, it was another injury he suffered on December 26th, that forced the best Los Angeles specialists to look further.
“Because I was already injured, they [the LA doctors] decided to not take any chances and treated my injury like it was a concussion and they made tests. After 5 months, they realized that a surgery was possible, with a chance of a full recovery, with no subsequent issues. It’s been already 3 weeks and I’m feeling really good. I’m very happy I did it. After all, we have the Stanley Cup. So it’s #1!” Happily said the left winger, who was enjoying his day with the precious trophy.
The mass they took out of Gagne’s neck was a tissue accumulation, caused by multiple hits he got. It was probably the reason of his chronic pain, for a long time blamed on concussions. All the tests made them realize it was, in fact, a “capsule” which could be removed without any risks. Since the surgery, the hockey player’s life changed radically.
“For 2 years, I had a lot of problems. I was taking a lot of medications to ease the pain and feel comfortable. In the mornings, it was painful and stiff. Like I was suffering from a stiff-neck everyday. The first year, it wasn’t so bad. But after 2 or 3 years, 365 days per year, when you wake up with pain, it’s become really bothering,” he admited.
For a moment, he even thought his career was over. But it took an unexpected turn.
“When it happened, the doctors told me it was another concussion. At that moment, you think it’s over. But after 2 weeks it didn’t feel like a concussion. In Tampa, I injured my neck and what I was feeling was more similar to that. I thought it wasn’t so bad and I kept training. I thought that maybe there was no danger and the doctors confirmed it after a while.”
The Kings’ forward finally could come back to play, just in time to play in 4 Stanley Cup Final games against the Devils, allowing his name to be on the Stanley Cup.
The former Remparts star now hopes that the surgery will allow him to play longer. “I can’t give any guarantees but fixing that problem might make my career a bit longer.”
source: Le Soleil; big thank you to my friend Véro for the translation from French!