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Henrik Lundqvist's throat injury was almost life-threatening

Playing with a sprained blood vessel could induce a stroke. So why did he play on Monday?

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

We (and many fans) cheered in awe at Henrik Lundqvist when he miraculously kept playing after a puck hit him in the throat a week ago. But had everyone known just how serious the injury was, maybe we'd have implored him to stay off the ice.

The New York Rangers netminder is expected to miss at least the next 3-4 weeks with a sprained blood vessel in his throat. If that sounds serious, it is. Lundqvist told's Dan Rosen on Sunday that he felt lightheaded immediately after the incident, and he was at risk of suffering a stroke if he kept playing in games after that day.

He said his headaches returned following that game, which is what prompted him to have tests Tuesday.

Lundqvist said doctors took two scans of his throat area. The sprained blood vessel was detected on the second scan.

"You can't take a risk on this," Lundqvist said. "If it was a sore shoulder I'd probably be playing in a week or something. Here I just have to listen to the doctors because it's that serious. I feel great walking around and doing different things, but you don't want to push this injury as long as it's there. But my plan is to come back and be super excited and ready to play in the last push of the season and the playoffs."

Of course, in hindsight, you have to wonder if the Rangers' trainers were right to let him stay out on the ice without going in for further tests. Not only did he finish that game, but he went on to play a full game two days later against the Panthers before the seriousness was discovered during Tuesday's tests.

Why weren't those tests done after the incident anyway? It's baffling how he was allowed to play a full game without every single test being run on his injury.

At the very least, everyone can rest easy knowing Lundqvist won't even be on the ice for the next three weeks until he's reevaluated.