Found January 28, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS Before they took part in Friday's annual TwinsFest at the Metrodome, several Minnesota Twins players made a special visit to a local hospital.First baseman Justin Morneau was joined by teammates Carl Pavano, Drew Butera, Glen Perkins, Matt Capps and Jason Marquis as they visited Jack Jablonski, the Benilde-St. Margaret's sophomore who was paralyzed in a hockey injury late last month. Jablonski was recently moved from Hennepin County Medical Center to Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, where the Twins visited him Friday."It was amazing to see how positive he was," said Morneau, who was wearing a No 13 wristband with the word "Bel13ve" in honor of Jablonski. "They said he'd never move his left arm but we were in there watching him do rehab and he's moving his left arm and shaking our hands with his right hand."Jablonski was injured in BSM's junior varsity game against Wayzata on Dec. 30. After he was hit from behind into the boards, Jablonski crumpled to the ice instantly and laid motionless. He told his coach that he couldn't feel anything below his neck. Everyone feared the worst.Indeed, Jablonski's spinal cord was severed. Doctors told him he'd never walk or skate again, but he remains determined to do both. Jablonski already proved doctors wrong once when moved both arms earlier this month, something they said would be nearly impossible."It was pretty cool to get to see him, the progress that he's made," Butera said. "It's a national story. When I first heard about it, it was down in the local news in Orlando. It's cool that we got to go see and visit him."Jablonski has received plenty of visitors since his injury, including members of the Minnesota Wild as well as other NHL players. The Twins players that met him Friday came away with a new outlook on life."I think a lot of guys left there speechless just seeing everything he's gone through and how positive he was," Morneau said. "We all talked about how we'd react if we were in that situation and how positive he seems to be doing. It gives you a little perspective."Added Butera: "I think we lit up more talking to him than he lit up for us. He's truly inspiring to all of us."Baseball doesn't compare to hockey when it comes to the physicality of the two sports, but the Twins certainly experienced their share of injuries during the 2011 season. Still, those injuries were never life altering like Jablonski's, which was put into perspective during their visit."You think that we get to live a dream. The fact that he was living his dream and the next thing you know, he's paralyzed, anything can happen at any time," Butera said. "Sometimes we tend to take things for granted. Like Justin said, it puts things into perspective. It makes us appreciate things a little more."
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