BUFFALO – Almost a year after Cody McCormick developed blood clots that spread to his lungs, the Sabres forward has a routine.
Most mornings, he’s on the First Niagara Center ice working with rehab coordinator Dennis Miller and two or three injured players. McCormick then hangs around the rink for bit, works out and heads home.
McCormick has no symptoms from the clots that briefly hospitalized him in early January – “I feel normal,” he said – but he still hasn’t been cleared to play. He’s taking a “precautionary dosage” of blood thinners.
Naturally, McCormick, 32, wants to play again. Still, he understands there’s a risk. That’s why the likable veteran has been researching his condition and seeing doctors who have experience dealing with blood clots in athletes.
“I want to evaluate how much risk there might be to playing,” McCormick told the Times Herald by phone this afternoon. “And if there’s any risk, it’s not worth it for me to try to play with where I’m at in life and put my family in the position where they would worry about me every game.”
What would McCormick do if a doctor told him to retire?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’d probably find another doctor, and he’d probably tell me the same thing, right? Until I’m pretty much satisfied I’ve explored everything and I’m not going to go against doctor’s orders or anything like that, I wouldn’t put myself at risk. I wouldn’t put that on my family.”
Earlier this week, blood clots forced Pittsburgh winger Pascal Dupuis to retire. Family concerns, Dupuis said, were the deciding factor. McCormick said he spoke to Dupuis in the summer and shares his feelings.
McCormick blocked a shot Jan. 3 and played three more games. He hasn’t played since Jan. 9.
Check back later for a full story on McCormick.