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Red Wings’ Masseur Out of Hospital

December 15, 1997

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Red Wings’ masseur has been released from the hospital six months after a limousine crash left him and star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov with severe head injuries.

Sergei Mnatsakanov _ released Wednesday from Royal Oak’s William Beaumont Hospital _ will undergo outpatient rehabilitation three to five times weekly, hospital spokeswoman Yvette Monet said Monday.

Monet could not specify how long rehabilitation could last for Mnatsakanov. Doctors say he remains wheelchair-bound, has the use of one arm and likely will never walk again.

``He’s demonstrating a strong will to recover from his trauma,″ William Beaumont rehabilitation specialist Dr. Sherry Viola said. ``His frustration is part of the grieving process. If you’re not frustrated, you’re not going to be motivated to improve problem areas.″

Mnatsakanov sustained severe head and spinal injuries in the June 13 limousine crash that left him and Konstantinov in comas for several weeks. Konstantinov, who was released from the hospital last month, is rehabilitating in Florida.

Red Wings defenseman Vyacheslav Fetisov and chauffeur Richard Gnida, who was blamed in the crash that occurred six days after Detroit won their first Stanley Cup since 1955, sustained minor injuries.

Gnida, 28, was sentenced last month to nine months in jail, 15 months of probation and 200 hours of community service for driving with a suspended license when the limousine struck a tree.

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