Flyers’ Steve Downie trying to recover from gruesome eye injury

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The fight wasn’t a mistake, Steve Downie said, but he did take a misstep during his brawl with Capitals winger Aaron Volpatti last Friday that led to the concussion that caused him to spend two nights in the hospital.

Nonetheless, Downie – deeply bruised, swollen and wearing a bubble helmet – joined the Flyers on the ice for Thursday’s morning skate ahead of the evening’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

“The loss [to the Caps] hurt more than my face,” Downie said. “I’m just trying to get back.”

The Flyers’ winger, in his first game after being traded to the team, challenged Volpatti late in the second period with an intent to do something – anything – to wake up his new teammates; the score was 5-0 Caps at the time. But, he said, he put himself in a vulnerable position, and once he lost vision in his left eye, he had to ask Volpatti to stop.

He left the Wells Fargo Center in an ambulance after the game.

Downie won’t be back in the lineup against the Devils but said he’s “healing well,” and “should be back soon,” despite the bruising around his eye and the fact that the eye itself remains bloody.

“My vision’s good,” he said. “The doctor did a good job checking out my eye making sure everything went well. It’s going really well.”

Downie, however, is struggling with sinus issues. It's noticeable even just hearing him speak.

“That’s the issues that I’m having, the sinuses,” he said. “So I’m just waiting for that to clear up and start breathing again. Mainly sinuses right now.”

Tim Panaccio and Sarah Baicker,