Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers sustained unique rib injury on January 14th during a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is believed that the injury took place on the play here:
What does it mean?
This is not a common injury in hockey, but essentially what it means is that one of the ribs has pulled away from the cartilage that connects it to the sternum or breast bone. In the picture below, the costal cartilage is highlighted in green:
This is likely quite a painful injury, with each breathe having the potential to irritate the injured rib.
How is it treated?
Rib injuries are tricky, in that there isn’t generally a lot of specific treatment available. There is no cast or surgery, and most likely the best course of action is to let the injury heal. Return to action will have to take into consideration that when the athlete starts to exert themselves, the deep breathing required will expand the rib cage, and place stress on the costal cartilage. Couturier is expected to be out for at least two weeks, and has been placed on injured reserve.