Gonchar, Witt Coping with Recent Injuries

By Fay, Dave | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 18, 1999 | Go to article overview

Gonchar, Witt Coping with Recent Injuries


Fay, Dave, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Sergei Gonchar probably will be able to play for the Washington Capitals tomorrow night against Anaheim, but the team feels it will be necessary to call another defenseman up to replace Brendan Witt.

Coach Ron Wilson said yesterday Gonchar's face was reconfigured by a crosscheck across the nose from San Jose's Ron Sutter, but he should be able to play if he can breathe through crumpled air passages.

The defenseman will wear a shield or cage attached to his helmet to protect the injured area. Gonchar said he wore a shield last season after receiving a large facial gash but got rid of it as soon as he was allowed.

"When I try to wear a visor it's hard for me to see," he said. "I probably should do it anyway because there are so many eye injuries, so when I start to wear it [today] I'll try to keep going."

Gonchar was injured six minutes into the third period of Saturday night's 3-2 loss to San Jose when he was struck by the Sharks center. The defenseman had just shot when he was checked on his right side by one player and, after being knocked to his knees, hit across the bridge of the nose by Sutter's graphite stick.

The injury at first appeared to be far more serious than it was. Gonchar lost a great deal of blood and could not get off the ice under his own power. …

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