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St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester skates against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Jan. 2, 2020. Bouwmeester had just completed a shift against the Ducks in the Feb. 11 game when he collapsed on the bench.

The Associated Press

Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester says he has returned to St. Louis and is recovering from a cardiac episode during a game last week.

The Blues released a statement from Bouwmeester on Tuesday, marking his first public comments since he collapsed on the bench in the first period of a game against the Ducks in Anaheim on Feb. 11.

Bouwmeester said he returned to St. Louis on Sunday after undergoing treatment at an Anaheim hospital. He had surgery Friday to insert a defibrillator to restore his heart’s normal rhythm.

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Bouwmeester had just completed a shift against the Ducks in the Feb. 11 game when he collapsed on the bench. The Edmonton native was unresponsive and doctors quickly used a defibrillator to restore his heart beat. Bouwmeester also regained consciousness before he was taken by ambulance to hospital.

The game was postponed and will be made up on March 11.

“I would sincerely like to thank all of the trainers from both the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, as well as all of the first responders, the Anaheim medical staff and the team at the UCI Medical Center for their quick actions on Feb. 11,” Bouwmeester said. “Our family has felt the support of the entire National Hockey League family and the city of St. Louis during this time. We have all been greatly comforted by your genuine concern.”

“On Sunday evening, I returned to St. Louis and I am on the road to recovery. My wife and daughters are forever grateful for everyone’s support and we will continue to have a positive outlook for our future.”

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