Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Wellwood starts rehab after gruesome injury

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New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) clears the puck as Philadelphia Flyers left wing Eric Wellwood (47) skates in during the second period of Game 5 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Philadelphia. New Jersey won 3-1 and took the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

On April 7, Flyers prospect Eric Wellwood slammed into the boards feet first during an Adirondack Phantoms game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. His left skate cut into his right foot and severed three tendons. He also cut through 70 percent of his Achilles and had to be rushed off the ice and to the hosptial.

The injury was so severe that Wellwood was projected to be out for at least nine months.

On Thursday, Flyers TV caught up with Wellwood, as the 23-year-old winger got his cast off and began rehab six weeks after the injury. Since he has been on bed rest and unable to move his foot in six weeks, starting rehab has been a struggle. 

But it could have been worse based on the gruesome nature of the injury.

“I got up and was in a lot of pain and noticed there was a lot of blood," Wellwood said, recalling his initial reaction to the injury. "A little bit of panic set in but at the same time I was shockingly calm. It was a different feeling, I never had that sensation before."

Before even thinking about lacing up a pair of skates and getting back on the ice, his first priority will be to make sure he can walk again. In the interview with Flyers TV he admitted that his doctors “had never seen anything like this before” meaning this injury will be even more difficult to recover from because there's no clear-cut timetable. 

Wellwood and his doctors are optimistic that he can pull through and are confident he will walk again. Walking is his main priority, but his overall goal is to return to the ice.

"My goal is to be able to play again," Wellwood said, "and I think if I just work hard at it, we’ll see where it takes us."

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