Lucky escape for captain as he’s blinded in one eye

Captain James Ferrarain action before picking up an eye injury on Sunday. Picture: Tom Scott

Captain James Ferrarain action before picking up an eye injury on Sunday. Picture: Tom Scott

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Phantoms captain James Ferrara believes he has had a lucky escape from a potentially life-changing injury.

Ferrara was struck in the right eye by the stick of former Peterborough man Milan Baranyk during a derby defeat against Milton Keynes last Sunday night.

James Ferrara's eye injury.

James Ferrara's eye injury.

The 29 year-old was taken to Peterborough City Hospital following the incident in the second period which initially left him with no vision in that eye.

And while his sight did thankfully return later, he has been left in major discomfort with damaged vessels, bruising and swelling.

Ferrara said: “Milan and myself were battling for a loose puck and his stick hit me in the eye.

“There was absolutely no intent whatsoever, but the blade caught me under the visor of my helmet and made contact with the eye.

“I feel I’m very lucky as I couldn’t see from that eye for an hour afterwards.

“Everything was grey and it was obviously very worrying at the time.

“I did fear I had either lost the eye, or the vision in it. I was very panicky for a while.

“Thankfully the vision came back and is okay, but I’ve got lots of swelling and bruising.

“I’ve already seen an eye specialist and I have another appointment later this week to check it is healing as it should.

“Milan came to see me on Tuesday morning. We got on well when he was a Phantoms player, and he was really upset about what happened.

“He came straight to our locker room on the night to check on me, and couldn’t apologise enough.

“These things happen though and it highlights the risks involved in the sport we choose to play.

“The game can be physical and dangerous - even in instances where it is purely accidental.”

Ferrara admits he is unsure at this stage whether or not he will be able to return to the ice during the remainder of a 2016/17 season in which Phantoms are targeting English Premier League Cup and play-off honours despite being plagued by injuries.

And he is backing a depleted squad to continue to excel under the leadership of coach Slava Koulikov during his recovery.

He added: “Nothing has gone our way on the injury front this season.

“It’s very unfortunate to have picked up so many concussions and now my eye injury, but these things happen in contact sport.

“Slava and his coaching team have planned very well for every eventuality and I’m sure the guys will continue to step up.

“Hopefully I can get back sooner rather than later, but it’s not something I can put a timescale on - certainly not at the moment.”