Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran Skip Brad Gushue Makes Return for First Time since Head Injury

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran Skip Brad Gushue Makes Return for First Time since Head Injury

Article excerpt

Gushue returns for first time since fall

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OSHAWA, Ont. - Still sporting a shiner and some puffiness above his right eye, veteran skip Brad Gushue returned to action Wednesday for the first time since a nasty fall left him with a seven-stitch cut and concussion-like symptoms.

He admitted he's not in top physical form but is still eager to compete at the National this week at General Motors Centre. His return comes less than two weeks after a face-first fall to the ice during a game at The Masters in Truro, N.S.

Gushue went down in the fourth end, got stitched up at a nearby hospital, and returned in the seventh end of a 5-2 quarter-final loss to Saskatoon's Steve Laycock on Oct. 31.

The competition high carried him through the end of the game. The symptoms kicked in a short time later.

"When I got back out on the ice and back in the lights, I felt a little bit off," Gushue said. "But it was after the game when the adrenalin went down that I knew something was off. It was my own fault. At the hospital, I was in such a rush to get back to the game. I didn't let them do their job. I wanted to get back, I wanted to play and I thought I was OK to play.

"I thought it was just a cut and a smack to the head. The concussion part didn't cross my mind. As I got home and the next day, I started to feel some of it. Then I knew there was something wrong. I rested it up and everything is OK now and getting better."

Gushue's eye was swollen shut for a few days. He underwent a CT scan and needed massage and physiotherapy to help with lingering neck and upper back pain.

The concussion-like symptoms eventually subsided and Gushue went back to the doctor for another round of tests Monday just to be sure. He decided to make the trip after being given the all-clear.

"I wouldn't say I'm 100 per cent, but I'm definitely good enough to play," he said. "The doctor said I was OK to play so I'm excited to be here and put that (fall) in the past."

It was the first significant injury of Gushue's long curling career.

"I've never hit my head falling and I've been curling for 20-plus years," he said. "I figure I've probably spent about 10,000 hours (curling) and never hit my head until I did it in front of half a million people (watching) on national television. …

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