Blackhawks' Khaira out of hospital, 'prognosis is excellent,' return uncertain

A view of the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira has been released from hospital and his prognosis is "excellent," according to the team's doctor.

“Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira was released from Northwestern Hospital early this morning after extensive testing and returned home,” Blackhawks head team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Despite the significant injury, his prognosis is excellent, and we expect a full recovery. At this point, it is too early to put a timeline on return to play.”

Khaira was stretchered off the ice on Tuesday after a hit by Jacob Trouba of the New York Rangers in their game Tuesday night.

The Blackhawks initially said Khaira suffered an "upper-body blow" and was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Hospital to be evaluated.

"He's up, he's talking, he's very responsive," interim head coach Derek King said immediately after the game. "I think he wants to get back on the ice. He's done some tests already, as far as what the doc told me, but he has some more tests to be done. So we won't know the extent of the injury until after these tests."

Khaira has a history of experiencing documented head injuries during his NHL career, with at least two incidents -- one stemming from a fight with Calgary Flames forward Brett Ritchie and the other from a hit delivered by Montreal Canadiens defenceman Alexander Romanov -- coming in the last year.

The hit during Tuesday's game occurred midway through the second period, with the Blackhawks trying to skate the puck out of their own zone. Khaira was attempting to receive a pass just before the blue line when Trouba connected with him on a hard hit, shoulder to chest, that knocked Khaira down, at which point his head appeared to hit the ice.

Khaira stayed down and motionless for several minutes. A brief scrum ensued between the Rangers and Blackhawks in the immediate aftermath of the hit, while medical personnel rushed to Khaira, but dispersed shortly after.

Several members of both teams then stood and watched as Khaira was taken by stretcher off the ice, with some players appearing to offer Khaira words or gestures of support.

Shortly after Khaira left the ice, the Blackhawks tweeted that their "thoughts are with him."

After the game, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was among the first to shed an optimistic light on Khaira's condition, noting that he was "just glad to hear he's doing OK," but didn't expand further.

Khaira, 27, has two goals and no assists in 18 games in his first season with the Blackhawks. He signed to a two-year contract in July that carries a $975,000 salary-cap hit.

Khaira was selected by Edmonton in the third round of the 2012 draft. He made his debut with the Oilers on Nov. 28, 2015, becoming the third player of Punjabi descent to play in the NHL.

Khaira has 26 goals and 39 assists for 65 points in 276 career games.

Also Wednesday, the Blackhawks recalled forwards Mike Hardman and Philipp Kurashev from Rockford and assigned defensemen Wyatt Kalynuk and Ian Mitchell to their American Hockey League affiliate.

--with files from The Canadian Press


Editor's note: The following video shows the hit Khaira received, followed by him being taken off the ice by stretcher. Though efforts were made to remove footage of him immediately following the hit, it may still be distressing for some viewers. Please exercise discretion before watching.

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