It has been nearly three weeks wince Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley since nearly dying after collapsing on the bench during a March 10 game because of an irregular heartbeat, but Peverly wants to play hockey again although he admits he doesn’t know if that’s possible.
“The recovery process is going to take time, and as cliche as it sounds, I’ve really learned this in the past week that it is day by day,” Peverley said at a news conference before the Stars’ game against Nashville. “Ultimately my goal would be to come back if it’s the right time.”
Peverley, 31, underwent a procedure to correct his condition 12 days ago and skated with the team on Thursday which marked the first time he was on the ice since the incident that traumatized his family.
“I think it is traumatic for the family, I think having that possibility of me not being around,” said Peverley, who has two young children. “I was very lucky that the NHL and all the doctors and all the trainers were very prepared because they did save my life.”
Peverley is on blood thinners for a month and won’t be allowed to go through any contact drills as he sits out the remainder of the season as the Stars chase a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference, they’re three points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Dr. Robert Dimeff, the Stars physician, is preaching patience for Peverley as it will be months before doctors know if his heart will stay in rhythm when he’s back competing in an environment of a professional athlete, but said there is an 85 percent success rate for the procedure Peverley had performed.
It’s times like this that serve as a reminder that there are far more pressing things than sports in this world, but hopefully Peverley is able to have a complete and full recovery and is able to resume his NHL career–if he and his family choose that path.