"I was on a moped and had an accident," Gophers sophomore right winger Zach Budish said Wednesday during the team's weekly media day. "It all just happened so quick. It was just an unfortunate accident."
The accident left him with a badly injured right knee.
"No cars were involved," he said. "I was with a teammate. [He was riding another moped.] We were right by Bierman, so I walked in to the trainer there and they took care of me and then I went to the emergency room."
Most of the Gophers hockey players ride scooters. The Bierman Athletic Building is on 15th Av. and has offices for many of the U of M coaches and beside it is the football team's indoor and outdoor practice fields.
"I didn’t really know what [the injury] was right away," Budish said. "My face was pretty bloody. I just wanted to get that taken care of. I just let them stitch me up. It took quite a while. They did a nice job. I am getting [the stitches] out later this week. I just let them do what they had to do."
The right side of Budish's face was pretty scratches up, on the cheek and above and to the side of his right eye. Sources close to Budish have said he has a torn ACL, too, without specifying whether it is a partial or complete tear.
"You want to be out there on the playing field and practicing and playing with [your] teammates," Budish said. "Unfortunately, I can’t do that right now."
Nor for a while.
Gophers coach Don Lucia said on Wednesday that even if Budish decides against surgery, the earliest he might be able to play after rehabilitation is around the holidays.
Asked if he had talked to the Nashville Predators yet, Budish said, he had not. The Predators took him in the second round of the 2009 NHL draft.
Budish will be meeting with his doctor on Saturday to discuss what his options are. "We are waiting for the swelling to go down and see what happens the next couple of days. [I'm] just taking it day by day. ... I have a good idea what the case is right now, I am trying to keep a positive attitude.
"I have been a little more upbeat today [Wednesday] than i was yesterday [Tuesday], hanging out with my teammates. It is good to be back [at Mariucci Arena]. I was at my house the last couple of nights. It has been good to be with my teammates that last couple hours here [Wednesday].
Budish said the Gophers' second line, which he was on, was clicking last weekend at Colorado College. The Gophers swept the CC series 4-1, 9-4.
"Saturday [Nate] Condon had a really nice night (two goals, three assists) and [Jacob] Cepis played well. So I wish I could be out there with them this weekend [against Wisconsin], but that is not going to be the case. Somebody will step up and fill the right wing [spot] on that line and they will do just fine."
That somebody will probably be senior Patrick White. He was in Budish's spot at two midweek practices at least. Condon is the center of that line, Cepis the left wing.
"It [was] a fluke accident," Budish said. "There are a lot of kids on campus that ride mopeds. We have a pretty big campus. A lot of athletes have mopeds as well as other students.
"Teammatees and coaches are very supportive," Budish said. "And friends and family have helped me through the past couple days. I am fortunate to have such a good support [group].
"My teammates have been great about picking me up. They can tell I have been down the last 48 hours or so. They have been there for me."