Egener illness forces contract cancellation

Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are very sad to have to confirm that club captain, Mike Egener will be unable to take his place in the line up this season due to a serious illness.

Egener has been diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, a rare and serious condition affecting theperipheral nervous system.  It occurs when the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system. Whilst his symptoms appear to have reached a plateau, he now faces an extended recovery period as his body gradually repairs the nerve damage that has taken place.

The diagnosis was confirmed by a neurologist in Canada earlier this week and after review with the club’s own medical staff, it was determined that Egener was in no condition to be able to take his planned flight to the UK this evening and that his recovery may well take many weeks.

After an extended discussion between Head Coach, Matt Soderstrom and Egener on Thursday evening, it was agreed that his focus now needs to be on returning to full health rather than playing for the Blaze at some point this season.

“It’s been a very difficult few days for all of us here, but especially for Mike and his family,” said Soderstrom.  “He was so looking forward to coming over this season and this has been a huge thing for him to have to deal with.  We were all hoping that he may be able to make a fairly quick recovery and may be able to start a couple of weeks late but deep down we all knew it was going to be unlikely. 

 

“Thursdays discussion between the neurologist our own Doctor confirmed that it just wasn’t going to happen quickly and that Mike now needs to concentrate on his recovery and forget about hockey for now.  He is an outstanding man with a wonderful family and we hope that his recovery can be as fast and complete as possible.

 

“Given Mike’s situation, the hockey seems of secondary importance but it is important for the club that we recruit a replacement for Mike as soon as possible and that is something that I will now be focusing on.  It has to be the right player and person though and it’s likely to be a couple of weeks before we can get someone here, especially if we have to go through the visa process.  Mike will be a very tough player to replace but I will be doing all I can to bring in the best possible replacement.

 

“In the meantime, I would ask all our supporters and the UK hockey community as a whole, to keep Mike in their thoughts and prayers during the coming weeks.  He faces a challenging time ahead but I’m sure that knowing that the whole of UK hockey is thinking of him will mean a lot.”

 

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