Blackburn forward Jake Nurse will be unavailable for selection in the coming weeks due to an injury sustained during Sunday’s Challenge Cup game with the Manchester Phoenix.
During the third period of that game, Jake fought with the Manchester forward Frantisek Bakrlik. During this altercation, Jake stepped on a loose stick, lost his balance and fell to the ice. It was at this point, while the Blackburn player was prone on the ice, that Jake received a punch to the face from Bakrlik. This punch fractured his eye socket. Further punches were then thrown, none of which Jake was in any position to defend against.
When, belatedly, the officials stepped in, Jake was helped from the ice and taken to hospital.
Due to the nature of the injury, and the pressure placed on the eyes by swelling, Jakes’s vision has been compromised to the extent that he is in no position to ice for the Hawks, or return to training for a minimum of six weeks.
The Blackburn Hawks Management, although recognising the place fighting has in the game of hockey, are dismayed that an injury of this severity has occurred in this way.
Speaking to BlackburnHawks.com in relation to the incident, Head Coach Jared Owen said: “I’m disappointed to lose Jake to an injury that could easily have been prevented. There’s an unwritten code about not hitting a guy while he’s down.
“Jake unfortunately slipped on a stick during his fight and his opponent decided to take advantage of him being led on the floor unable to protect himself. Jake is a massive part of the team on and off the ice, and we’re going to miss him but his health comes first and we wish him a speedy recovery and we look forward to having him back with us as soon as he is healthy again”.
The Blackburn Hawks respectfully ask for patience and understanding on this matter and are eager to welcome Jake back to the team as soon as possible.