Tortorella injured: “Ex-Rangers coach” suffers two broken ribs at outdoor practice

Updated: January 24, 2016
Tortorella injured: Ex-Rangers coach suffers two broken ribs at outdoor practice

Tortorella injured during outdoor Blue Jackets’ practice after ‘nasty’ fall.

Coach John Tortorella suffered two fractured ribs in a nasty fall after he collided with Blue Jackets forward Rene Bourque during practice. Tortorella was initially attended to by the Blue Jackets training staff and left practice early, skating off under his own power to a smattering of applause by fans who were watching.

Tortorella walked back to Nationwide Arena with general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and was later helped into an ambulance at the arena. He was transported to Riverside Methodist Hospital, where the diagnosis was made.

Kekalainen said Tortorella was “very unlikely” to coach the Blue Jakcets on Saturday when they play the Boston Bruins in TD Garden. It’s unclear when he’ll be allowed by doctors to take the ice with his players for practice.

Tortorella, who had hip replacement surgery in 2010, did not appear to hit his head in the fall, and he told Kekalainen that the injury was not to his head or his hip. Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said Tortorella’s back “locked up” shortly after Tortorella left the outdoor ice.

Tortorella was not made available to the media.

Bourque told The Dispatch after practice that he “hit a rut” in the ice before the collision with Tortorella, and that it “happened so fast” he wasn’t sure who he hit.

He was skating with speed up the left wing during a drill and clipped Tortorella, who was standing along the boards with his head turned. Tortorella twisted in the air and landed on his backside, remaining on the ice for several minutes as medical staff attended to him.

“I felt so bad for John and for Borkie,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. “Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt. But the funny thing about Torts is that he’s pretty tough. I think he’s a lot tougher than all of us. So when you see him down like that, you know he’s pretty hurt.”

Sportact Editors and Wire Services