Quebec junior league player Mikael Tam said Friday he's endured the most difficult days of his life since taking an elbow to the head from Patrice Cormier during a game this week.
In his first public comments since the incident Sunday, Tam said he can't remember the vicious check at centre ice during the overtime period of a game between his Quebec Remparts and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
"Over the last few days, I have lived through the most difficult moments of my life," the Remparts defenceman told a news conference in Quebec City on Friday.
The 18-year-old, who had convulsions, was taken away on a stretcher and stayed in hospital until the following evening. He suffered brain trauma and damage to several teeth.
"When I was in emergency and I was asking myself where I was, and I didn't know why I was in this condition, I was scared, very scared," he said. "When I regained consciousness, I had no recollection of what had happened."
Tam said the first thing he asked himself was whether he would walk again. Then he wondered whether his friends and family would still be there for him.
"But, over and over, the question that kept coming back was whether I would be able to play hockey again.
"I just want to play again. I am a winner. I am a determined person and I will do everything I can to come back as soon as possible."
Cormier, 19, was suspended indefinitely, pending an investigation by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which has said it will announce its decision Monday.
The Cap-Pele, N.B., native was the captain of the Canadian team at this year's world junior championship. He escaped punishment after elbowing a Swedish player in the head during an exhibition game before the tournament.
A New Jersey Devils draft pick, Cormier was playing just his third game with the Huskies after being traded from Rimouski.