Gruesome hockey selfie update: Callahan back at practice

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Mitch Callahan says the hardest part of his recovery from a gruesome injury earlier this month has been drinking so much soup.

"My mom came into town as soon as I got out of surgery," Callahan told WZZM Friday morning. "She helped me eat some food. I had to eat soup for ten days straight. I was able to eat small pieces of pasta and rice bowls. But my bite size is limited."

Callahan looks remarkably better than he did on the night of April 2 when he took a puck to the mouth during a game. You can see the story here. He says he lost eight teeth and suffered a broken jaw which was wired shut until this week.

"I didn't really feel anything. I was in shock. I didn't know my jaw was broken at the time. I just thought I lost some teeth and needed stitches. In between periods I asked if I could go back out on the ice for the second period. [Trainer] John Bernal told me, 'We've got to go to the hospital. It's a lot more serious than that.' And then a couple of hours at the hospital is when my jaw began to get really sore and I couldn't move it."

Callahan is wearing a special protective face mask at practice and says he will wear it the remainder of this season. He hopes to be back in uniform by game three of the Griffins' first playoff series.

Callahan's story gained national attention after he tweeted this picture the night of the game. It has been retweeted more than 7,300 times.

"I just wanted to show some people what happened. I had a lot of people texting me after the game so I thought I might as well throw it out there. If I had known how serious the injury was I don't think I would have done that. I didn't know if it was that bad or if I was going to miss any time. Just kind of to let people know what happened and what my face looks like now," he explains.

Callahan says he is now pain free and expects to get "new teeth" this summer when the season is over.


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