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Kelowna player recovering after being hit in the throat with hockey stick

Defenceman Zach Pietsch was struck in the throat by an opponent’s stick and suffered damage to his windpipe.
Zach Pietsch gives a thumbs up after successful surgery to repair his windpipe. KELOWNA CHIEFS

Kelowna Chiefs defenceman Zach Pietsch is out of hospital.

The 17-year-old was injured in a game in Grand Forks Friday night. He was struck in the throat by an opponent’s stick and needed surgery to repair the damage.

Pietsch was initially taken to Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks and then transferred to Kelowna General Hospital.

A social media post by the team on Sunday said his surgery was a success but the damage was worse than doctors intially believed. The latest update, posted Monday, says he’s now home recovering.

“Last night we received some great news...Zach Peitsch has been released from the hospital. He has a lengthy recovery ahead of him but we're so glad he (sic) back home,” said the post on the Chiefs’ Twitter account.

Pietsch, who is from Kelowna, has six assists in 32 games with the Chiefs this season.

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