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Swiss Hockey Player Left Paralyzed After Vicious Hit Into Boards

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You never want to see something tragic like this happen in sports but you know it’s always a real possibility. 

In the Swiss Nationaliga B playoff game between Olten and Langenthal, Olten defender Ronny Keller was paralyzed after being checked into the boards by Langenthal player Stefan Schnyder. Keller hit the boards head-first in overtime of the second tier playoff match. He was treated on the ice and airlifted to a specialist hospital where he underwent surgery.

Puck Daddy is reporting that Keller’s physician said in a statement, “Following the serious injury of the fourth thoracic vertebra, Ronny Keller will be a permanent paraplegic. There is neither head nor brain injuries.”

Swiss media reported that Schnyder has been questioned by police, and the hockey league is investigating the incident. The local attorney general has also opened a criminal investigation that will attempt to determine if the hit was egregious outside of the normal risk.

Schnyder has reached out to Keller and expressed his regret. A representative for Schnyder also told the press that he is receiving psychological support after the ordeal.

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