Erik Cole is out for the duration.
Erik Cole will not return to the Carolina Hurricanes this season after doctors told him today the fracture in his vertebra has not healed enough to allow him to play.
Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said that Cole should be ready for training camp this fall, but Thursday's CT scan did not show the progress the team had hoped to see.
"There was insufficent healing in the bone," Laviolette said. "He will be OK for the game of life and his career, but he will not be joining us in the playoffs."
Cole, 27 was injured March 4 when Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik hit him from behind into the boards, causing a compression fracture to one of his vertebrae.
The Hurricanes take on the Buffalo Sabres in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night, down 2-1 in the series.
"Everybody was holding out hope he'd be able to come back and play, but in the big picture we were worried about his life and career and that's going to be OK," Laviolette said. "It's disappointing he won't be with us, but that was really third on my list."
This is disappointing, but in the grand scheme of things it's really not a surprise. I think Lavi said it best--the important thing is that he'll be able to play again and live a full life.