With Buffalo Sabres and NHL fans in general concerned about the health of Kyle Okposo, here is the latest available information pertaining to the winger.
There’s no denying this has been a tough season for the Buffalo Sabres and their fans. After entering the campaign with high hopes, the team will miss the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year.
However, the struggles have been put into perspective by recent events off the ice. More specifically, the current plight of Kyle Okposo reinforces the fact that no matter how much you care about hockey, it’s still just a game.
Okposo has not played since March 25, when he recorded two assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs. To begin with, his absence was just referred to as an unspecified illness.
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However, things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, when WGR550’s Paul Hamilton reported the winger had been admitted to Buffalo General Hospital. Hamilton went on to say he was undergoing multiple tests at the facility’s Neuro Intensive Care Unit.
This understandably led to shock and concern around the league, from players, coaches and fans alike. What made it worse was the Sabres were unable to say much more, other than the fact Okposo is under the care of their doctors and dealing with the symptoms of an illness.
To be fair to the organization, their hands are tied in this respect. As reported by John Vogl and Henry L. Davis of The Buffalo News, the Sabres must abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Without specifications of the illness, people made educated guesses about what the issue could be, based on the fact Okposo was admitted to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit. More specifically, that he could be dealing with a stroke, brain hemorrhage, trauma or tumor.
Vogl and Davis expanded on why a patient would be admitted to the neuro ICU:
"” Stroke, either from a blockage in an artery in the brain or a rupture from a hemorrhage, is a common disorder that lands patients in the units. But neuro ICUs also care for an array of other issues, including epilepsy, brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis, degenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, and brain tumors.”"
Obviously, this is a very serious and scary situation for Okposo, who has unsurprisingly been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Speaking about the 28-year old on Wednesday, Dan Bylsma admitted he was very concerned about him.
The situation should become clearer soon. In the meantime, all we can do is join the chorus of those hoping Okposo makes a full recovery and can go on to lead a healthy life, never mind play hockey again.
This is obviously the type of incident that helps puts sports into perspective. Under the circumstances, please feel free to use the comments section below, to offer your best wishes to Okposo and his family.