All about Dominic Turgeon’s blod clot and his recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome

Red Wings prospect and Grand Rapids Griffins forward Dominic Turgeon spoke with the media yesterday, addressing his recovery from a blood clot caused by thoracic outlet syndrome:

The Grand Rapids Press/MLive’s Peter J. Wallner took note of Turgeon’s comments

After the clot was removed in Texas, where the team was playing in Austin that night, Turgeon flew to Tampa, Fla where a rib was removed from his right side. Turgeon said he was told he could make a full recovery and return to play in time for training camp.

“It’s a scary thing,” Turgeon said. “Especially coming out of nowhere and just realizing that blood clots can be serious.”

After experience swelling in his arm, he told athletic trainer John Bernal who had him go in for tests.

“We went to the hospital and I’m thinking I’m going back for my pregame nap,” Turgeon said. “Then they say you need surgery right away. So, I’m getting hooked up to a machine and then a surgery an hour after that.”

Dr. Karl Illig, who performed the surgery, also successfully treated Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos for a similar condition two years ago.

The condition occurs more often in athletes with overhead motions, such as in baseball or tennis, said Dr. Joshua I. Greenberg from Mercy Health Hospital, Saint Mary’s Campus in Grand Rapids. He has treated professional and collegiate athletes for thoracic outlet syndrome, and is also professional acquaintances with Illig.

The condition occurs when the vein between the collarbone and first rib gets compressed, he said.

Wallner continues, and he posted a video of Turgeon’s comments…

24 Hour News 8 filed a report about Turgeon…

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also filed a report about Turgeon’s recovery

Not being in the Griffins’ lineup, and getting an opportunity to defend the Calder Cup championship, is difficult.

“You work all summer, you work all year to be in the playoffs and you want to be part of it,” Turgeon said. “But when it comes down to this, it’s a life-threatening thing. I’m glad it went well.”

Turgeon said he’s “feeling a lot better” and the bruising it going away, although he will be on blood thinners the “next few months.”

The support from Griffins’ teammates has been helpful.

“We’re a real close family in here,” Turgeon said.

Turgeon made his NHL debut with the Red Wings this season on Jan. 14 in Chicago, and played five games total.

Turgeon played in 69 games with Grand Rapids, with 14 goals and 18 assists.

As did The Athletic’s Katie Strang

Most of the Griffins didn’t find out until the afternoon of the game. An announcement was made by the coaching staff on the bus ride to the arena.

“We were all kind of shocked,” forward Colin Campbell said. “And it was tough to hear, especially on the way to a game. He’s a good teammate and friend.”

It was a strange feeling for the team heading into an important game. The Griffins wanted to win for Turgeon and his family and, more practically, to get into the playoffs, but they also had his status weighing on their collective psyche. They knew they weren’t likely to get an update until after the game.

“It’s a crazy thing to think about, that your friend can be in such a state that he could have possibly died,” said Griffins left wing Turner Elson, Turgeon’s roommate. “It’s a scary moment.”

Turgeon himself was surprised and caught up in a whirlwind of medical procedures he didn’t anticipate. The 22-year-old center, son of former NHLer Pierre Turgeon, had expected a quick, precautionary visit to the hospital. Instead, he was hooked up to a machine and calling his mom to tell her he’d be going into emergency surgery.

“It’s a scary thing, especially coming out of nowhere and just realizing blood clots can be very serious and (with the) playoffs too,” Turgeon said Tuesday in his first press availability since his surgery. “So it was definitely not ideal, but it happened.”

Who continues (paywall)…

Update: Here’s more from’s Dana Wakiji:

Turgeon is disappointed that he won’t be able to help his Griffins teammate defend their Calder Cup title, but he understands that his health is the most important thing.

“Obviously you work all summer, you work all year to play in the playoffs. You want to be a part of it,” Turgeon said. “You’re close family, especially with what happened last year but when it comes down to this, I guess it was a life-threatening thing so I’m thankful that everything went well.”

Turgeon, who will be on blood thinners for a few months, is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for training camp.

His teammates will be waiting with open arms when he returns next season.

“We’re a really close family in here,” Turgeon said. “As soon as they heard what happened, they had to leave on the road right away to go to San Antonio and keep going. Just a lot of love in the room and I’m just happy to be a part of this family.

“The past few weeks or so has obviously been crazy, from Texas to Tampa. But feeling a lot better now.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

3 thoughts on “All about Dominic Turgeon’s blod clot and his recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome”

  1. Crazy story, good to hear that they caught it and got him fixed up so quickly. I wonder how often that kind of thing goes unnoticed by average people who aren’t usually surrounded by trainers and medical staff.

  2. I never have any eloquent words for situations like these.

    Just…this sucks. Blood thinners for another few months? I feel for the dude.

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