Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron spoke to reporters Tuesday for the first time since being admitted to the hospital following Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
The assistant captain gave detailed descriptions of the torn rib cartilage he suffered in Game 4, the broken rib on his left side that occurred in Game 5 and the separated right shoulder and punctured left lung from Game 6. The puncture led to a collapsed lung, and Bergeron spent three days in the hospital after the Bruins' loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
"I'm feeling a lot better," said Bergeron, who played nearly 18 minutes in the deciding Game 6. "The ribs and the shoulder now just need some time to rest but it's a lot better."
As for the other injuries:
"In Game 4, my cartilage torn in the corner against [Michael] Frolik, so that's when it started and it obviously escalated because I kept playing and didn't have time to heal it. In Game 5, it was either the first or second shift, I got hit again right on the ribs and that's when I'm sure it cracked and it got worse. I tried to go back in the second and after the second period, the doctors, because the pain escalated, they were worried about the spleen, so we had to go to the hospital [in Chicago] and get it checked and everything was fine."
Bergeron, 27, said he wasn't sure if he'd be able to return for Game 6, but he and the team decided that a nerve-block procedure would allow him to get on the ice.
"In my mind, for sure, I wanted to play," he said. "I was hoping for the pain to go down but that wasn't the case. After Game 5, I was in a lot of pain. The next day I was just trying to find a way [to] manage the pain, I guess, but it was definitely there. On the day of Game 6, we met with the doctors and they were telling me the only way I could play was to have a nerve block, otherwise the pain would be too high, so I did that in order to play."
Bergeron finished the playoffs with nine goals and 15 points in 22 games. He played in Game 6, but separated his right shoulder in the first period, because he fell awkwardly while trying to protect his ribs. He's still not sure how he punctured his lung. But after the final game, he had difficulty breathing. He had X-rays taken at TD Garden, but went to Massachusetts General Hospital when the results were inconclusive.
Three days later, Bergeron said he won't need surgery for his ribs or shoulder and he expects to be ready for training camp.
"I should be fine for camp, the beginning of camp, for sure," he said. "Hopefully, but I'm pretty positive I will be. I just need a couple of weeks, two or three weeks [of rest]."