By Ken Wiebe
The Winnipeg Sun
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – In the blink of an eye – or more specifically, a pop of the knee – Dirk Southern saw his season come to a grinding halt.
At the time, Southern was skating with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL and figured his season was beginning to turn in the right direction.
There were even some whispers that the 25-year-old Winnipegger might be called upon to help an injury-depleted Manitoba Moose lineup.
But before that call could come, Southern found himself on the shelf.
“It was tough to have a season-ending injury, it puts a doubt in your mind about how you’re going to be after that,” said Southern, a smooth centre who suffered the freak injury on Dec. 14 in a game against the Columbia Inferno. “It was a fluke actually. We were on the power play and a guy landed on the side of my leg. That buckled my leg and I could hear a loud pop.
“I thought it was my ankle at first. They took me off (the ice) and when the doctor looked at it, he told me right away that I had torn my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament). You never know what the extent of an injury like that is going to be.”