Sheffield Steelers’ captain’s worst ever facial wound

Jonathan Phillips, played on despite eye wound
Jonathan Phillips, played on despite eye wound
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Jonathan Phillips says he’s suffered the worst facial injury he’s endured in 20 years playing ice hockey.

The Sheffield Steelers and Great Britain captain has broken three socket bones keeping his eye in place.

But the initial diagnosis suggests an operation will not help recovery - so he hopes it will mend itself over the next six to eight weeks and is 100 per cent confident he will be ready to lead next season’s training camp.

Phillips, 34, was smashed in the face by a puck in the first period the GB’s second game in the world championships, against Estonia.

He went down on one knee for a short period, was checked rink-side, and then continued to play the rest of the tournament in a full-face mask.

“I knew there was something wrong because of a ridge forming under my eye” said the Welshman.

“But there was no concussion symptoms and it never occurred to me that I could not carry on playing.

“X-rays in Belfast later confirmed three fractures around the bone holding the eye in place. But when I got home and saw a maxillofacial expert at the Hallamshire, it was good news to hear that they probably won’t have to operate.

“I have had a broken nose a couple of times and ofcourse stitches to cuts, but never a facial injury like this one.

“Having said that, it’s not as painful as you’d think.

“I broke the tip of my finger blocking a shot in the (world championship Division 1B) Final, and that hurts a lot more!”

The Sheffield right winger said his injury did not mar the feelings of joy when GB beat Japan 4-0 in Belfast’s SSE Arena to win promotion to Division 1 Group A - the second tier of the IIHF World Championship structure.

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