Stockton Thunder center Gabriel Levesque remained in a hospital Thursday morning, and could face season-ending hip surgery after being hit into the boards in the Reign’s 4-2 win Wednesday.
Thunder coach Matt Thomas said that “they’re still trying to figure out exactly the overall seriousness of it but the early diagnosis doesn’t look promising.” Levesque is expected to be released sometime today and then will meet with his team doctor to determine if surgery is necessary.
“The good thing is it’s not something that required emergency surgery,” Thomas said. “That’s a positive thing, in terms of the ability to heal from it.”
Levesque left Citizens Business Bank Arena on a gurney, lying on his left side — not his back – and looking dazed, if not unconscious. Thomas said he didn’t know if Levesque lost consciousness, only that the 21-year-old center “was in a lot of pain. Serious pain.”
Thomas also said that a video review showed that the initial high-stick that clipped Levesque in the face came from Reign left wing Geoff Irwin, not that of right wing Derek Couture, who received a high-sticking penalty on the play. Couture delivered the hard hit immediately after Levesque was high-sticked and let go of the puck.
Asked if it was a clean hit, Thomas said: “I don’t know. I don’t think so. I don’t think it was just because it was more of a — it wasn’t a body check. It was like he pushed him. Is it a dirty hit? I don’t know. It’s a push. I’m sure Couture didn’t want to hurt him, but Levesque was in a bad spot when he got pushed.”