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Leafs Valk Struck by Teammate

March 27, 2001

TORONTO (AP) _ Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Garry Valk was injured Monday when he was accidentally hit near the right eye by the tip of teammate Darcy Tucker’s stick during practice.

The team’s practice had already ended and most of the players were off the ice, but Valk and several others were involved in an informal game of 3-on-3 when he was injured.

Valk, who went down immediately and kicked his legs in pain, was helped off the ice and taken to Toronto Western Hospital, where he was examined by Dr. Robert Devenyi, the team’s eye doctor.

``The position of it is such that we’re going to take every caution right now,″ Leafs GM-coach Pat Quinn said. ``It’s in the fleshy part underneath the skull. It doesn’t look like anything direct on the eye, but we have to find out more.″

A pool of blood was left on the ice where Valk went down, but it might have been from his nose which could have been broken as well.

``We’ll have to see what happens, but I’m almost positive he’s going to be fine,″ Tucker said. ``He was standing at the side of the net and I didn’t even see him standing there and the puck came to me and I shot it and my stick rode up another guy’s stick and it was just a bad situation.″

Toronto has had a history of bad luck with eye injuries.

Defenseman Bryan Berard suffered a career-ending injury last March when Marian Hossa’s stick hit him in the right eye during a game against Ottawa.

Mats Sundin needed 15 stitches in November when teammate Bryan McCabe made a clearing attempt that hit him between the eyes in a game against Chicago.

``We’ve got a certain degree of history with that, for sure,″ said goalie Glenn Healy. ``Garry seemed to be faced with more of an inconvenience having to go get stitches more than anything else.″

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