Sebastian Courcelles hopes to play this weekend.
This is, in a word, insane. That would be less than a week after the captain of the LNAH's Thetford Mines Isothermic, a team in Quebec's minor-pro Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey, left Saturday night's game with a severe skate cut to the face.
A photo of the injury made the rounds the following morning. If you haven't seen it yet, it's here, but be warned it's as graphic and gruesome a skate cut photo as we've ever seen. Isothermic goaltender Bobby Baril, who saw the cut up close as Courcelles left the, nearly fainted. That's not an unreasonable response.
(There's another look at it here. It's no less disgusting.)
You're looking at the less graphic but still pretty horrifying after photo, with Courcelles fully stitched up, looking less like the victim of a zombie bite and more like the front of a snowboarding jacket.
The cut happened when Courcelles was hit by Jean-Michel Bolduc of the Trois Rivieres Vikings. He fell to the ice, his face landing on Bolduc's skate. Immediately, there was blood, as you can imagine.
Sebastien's brother Simon, who also plays for the Isothermic but is a firefighter and first responder by day, knew right away how bad the cut was.
"He shouted to put pressure on my cheek," Courcelles told Le Journal de Quebec. "He then said to call the ambulance... at that time, I told myself that it must not be pretty."
It was unpretty indeed, a fact that Courcelles confirmed when he saw the injury for the first time, shortly after the two-hour operation to close him up.
"After the operation, I saw the scar in the reflection of a window," he said. And then he, like the rest of us, was horrified. Here's another look:
Courcelles still can't really feel his face. The cut hit a nerve. He's been told to wrinkle his forehead and smile often, which he's finding difficult.
And yet, he wants to get back to his life. The only reason he didn't go to work on Monday, he says, is because his wife wouldn't let him. And Courcelles expects to be back on the ice Friday, which might be before his swollen face is off it.
"My goal is to play on Friday with a full face shield," he said.