The 35-year-old is on injectable blood thinners and will be making the move to oral blood thinners later on. The bad news is that the future isn’t certain. Dupuis’ doctor isn’t sure if the diagnosis will prove to end Dupuis’ career.
Initially, the forward had a blood clot in his leg. It then moved on to his lung. He’s currently in stable condition and set to go through a series of tests. The good news is that the clot was caught when it was, as it could have led to a life-threatening condition otherwise.
“It’s not a great situation to be in, but that’s the card I’ve been dealt,” Dupuis said. “Hockey’s definitely second in my mind right now and [his family is] the most important part of my life right now. So, I just have to be healthy for them.”
This is the second blood clot Dupuis has faced in less than a year and it was identified on Monday after he complained of chest discomfort after missing practice. The previous blood clot was diagnosed in January following an ACL tear. Dupuis was put on blood thinners for six months following that injury and he missed the last 43 games of the 2013-2014 season.
Dupuis hasn’t had good luck as of late. In October, he was stretchered off the ice after he was hit by a puck in the back of the neck. But this is a whole new ballgame and it’s not something he wants to play around with.
“It’s been hard,” Dupuis said. “The knee, the puck in the neck, this is all stuff you come back from. You’re a hockey player. You’re supposed to come back from that stuff. It’s the risk you take as a hockey player to be on the ice. The other stuff, the clot, the lungs — that has nothing to do with hockey. It’s life-threatening, and you have to think of yourself and your loved ones before hockey comes to mind.”
The past year hasn’t been kind to the Penguins organization as a whole, with Kris Letang suffering a stroke in late January and Olli Maatta requiring surgery to remove a cancerous tumour. Times like these serve as reminders that, hard as it may be to believe for some, there are bigger things out there than hockey.