Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikael Renberg nearly lost his left hand due to an infection.
Renberg was kept out of the Leafs game on New Year's Eve against Vancouver. He aggravated a blister on his hand while trying to tie his skates in Edmonton on Saturday. The hand became infected and team athletic therapist Brent Smith took him to a Vancouver hospital with a 104-degree fever.
"It could have been a lot worse, amputation to save my life, I guess," Renberg told the Toronto Star. "I'm lucky I was with Brent and he was smart enough to take me to the hospital right away,"
Renberg says doctors discussed amputating his left hand in order to save his life from the infection. It was Smith's quick thinking to get him to the hospital when he did that likely saved his life.
The Sweden native has returned to Toronto to continue his recovery while the rest of the Maple Leafs travelled to New Jersey. His hand is still swollen and he is still suffering side effects of the infection.
Last June, Renberg suffered a serious cut to his arm when he was cut by the propeller of his boat after he fell into the water.