Zednik to be released from hospital within 48-72 hours, couple says thanks

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Richard Zednik continues to improve and should be released from hospital within the next 48-72 hours.

The Florida Panthers forward and his wife Jessica also made their first public comments Wednesday since an artery in Zednik's neck was cut during a game Sunday in Buffalo.

In a statement released through Buffalo General Hospital, Jessica Zednik offered thanks to all involved in helping save her husband.

"On behalf of Richard and our entire family, I want to thank the fans, his teammates, the Panthers and Sabres organizations, plus so many others for their prayers and well wishes," she said. "I especially want to thank the medical staff involved in his care and the Buffalo General Hospital for their tremendous support during this difficult time.

"Richard continues to improve and we are encouraged each day. We thank you for respecting our privacy and would ask everyone to continue to keep Richard in their thoughts over the next few days."

Dr. Sonya Noor, Zednik's attending surgeon, said Zednik continues to improve and should be discharged over the next 48-72 hours.

Zednik was upgraded to good condition and moved from the intensive care unit to a private room Tuesday.

Zednik was injured in a frightening accident, as Olli Jokinen's razor-sharp skate blade sliced the 32-year-old forward's neck, cutting his carotid artery and stopping just shy of his jugular vein.

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