Is this what a skull looks like after stopping a hockey puck?
An x-ray making the rounds on Reddit -- and bearing the name of Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mark Fraser -- is causing some serious dismay online.
In the image, a gaping hole can actually be seen above the right eye -- where Fraser evidently stopped a slapshot from opposing forward Milan Lucic in Game 4 of the Toronto Maple Leafs - Boston Bruins series.
Astonished by the severity of the damage, one Reddit user noted that the Leafs coach had seriously understated the injury in the press.
"There's a fucking dent in his forehead."
Yes, it appears it's that serious.
Internet reaction contrasts sharply with what Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle told the Toronto Sun immediately following the injury.
"He is back on the road to recovery," he said. "(Fraser) had surgery to repair a fracture between the eyes and the cranial area, but I don't know if you would call it a fractured skull, I think that's a little bit severe."
The hospital name, St. Michael's, also appears on the x-ray suggesting it may have been leaked by hospital staff -- the institution is just a few blocks from the Air Canada Centre, where Fraser was playing when he suffered the injury.
For its part, the hospital denies having leaked the image, telling the National Post, "We investigated today whether this scan had been released inappropriately. Our investigation showed that proper procedures were followed."
An armchair x-ray medical imaging analyst and Redditor offered this commentary:
"The injury looks a lot worse than it actually is. There's actually an air-filled pocket in the bone right in the unibrow zone called the frontal sinus. That's what's crushed in here, but it certainly looks like the injury doesn't go all the way through. He'll need surgery to remove the chunks of bone and replace them with a titanium plate, but this is definitely not a debilitating or life-threatening injury. Unless he has a concussion as well, he'll be skating in a couple of weeks."
Perhaps, the biggest takeaway from this x-ray is a renewed call for players to wear visors -- something that likely would have mitigated the damage.
At HFBoards, a popular hockey message board, support for visors seemed to be spiking in the wake of the image's emergence.
"I work in the medical field and have seen plenty of CT scans but this one still made me go Yikes. Visors, please!" one user wrote.
Another added, "Visors need to be worn. That's bloody terrifying."
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