PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Last year, Pascal Dupuis' season was cut short when he was diagnosed with a second blood clot in 11 months.
In February, Dupuis opened up about his diagnosis and recovery in an article posted to "The Players' Tribune."
In the article, Dupuis stated that he played five games after experiencing a sharp pain. It was a pain he was all too familiar with.
The pain would end up being diagnosed as a second blood clot in his lung, which ended his season after just 16 games.
At the time of the announcement, Dupuis was expected to miss six months while he was placed on blood thinners. Now, he's gearing up for training camp, which opens next month.
Today, Dupuis posted an update on "The Players' Tribune," which details his long road back and the burning passion he has for the game of hockey.
It's no secret that Dupuis has been working as hard as ever to return to the ice. A big hurdle in the process was being cleared for contact, which happened in June.
"Most of all — and this is going to sound insane, I know — I missed getting hit. In June, after the doctors ran me through a battery of final tests and cleared me to return to the ice to skate with other players, my first thought was: Man, I can't wait to take a really good shot. A nice stick to the ribs. Maybe even a puck to the face. We're not supposed to hit in the summer, but the first few times on the ice, I was going out of my way to get into scrums in the corners. The guys probably thought I was insane."
Dupuis discussed just how difficult it was to have to watch his teammates, instead of being on the ice. But, it was something his son stopped doing that hurt Dupuis the most.
He talked about how the morning after games his son would come down for breakfast and criticize his play. Not playing meant his son couldn't criticize him.
"When my kids would come down for breakfast while I was dealing with the blood clots, I would get a little kick in the chest. It might sound silly, but it's kind of this feeling, like, Do they know their dad's still on the team?"
Family is the most important thing to Dupuis. In fact, it was why he stopped trying to convince himself a pain in his chest wasn't another blood clot.
Now that he's been cleared to return, family is once again a major motivating factor.
"They're the biggest reason that I'm coming back. My son was so young when we won the Stanley Cup in 2009 that he actually fit in the top of the cup. One daughter was just a year old. My youngest daughter wasn't even born yet. To win another Cup, now that they can really appreciate the sacrifice and dedication that it takes … that would mean the world to me."
While fans will be happy to see "Duper" back on the ice, no one will be happier than the man himself.
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