Veteran defenseman keeps playing with serious gruesome injury!

This is difficult to watch... this was so close to being life-threatning.

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On several occasions in the National Hockey League, we see a player jump back onto the ice after suffering an injury, or blocking a tough shot or getting plastered on the board by a devastating hit. When it happens, we are in awe and appreciate how great of a soldier the player is and how only hockey players can handle so much pain, but keep going on the ice. 

On Monday night, one NHL player proved all that into one incident. During the contest between the Los Angeles Kings and the Minnesota Wild, we were reminded how dangerous it is to play with sharp blades on your feet - but it could have ended a lot worse.

During the first period, Los Angeles defenseman Derek Forbort was involved in a weird sequence that resulted in him taking a skate to the ear from Minnesota's Zach Parise. As Parise fell to the ice, his skate blade came up and accidentally clipped Forbort, who spun into the skate as he fell to the ice as well. 

This was a pretty difficult sequence to watch, especially when you realize how close the blade came to his neck. 

His ear was cut and mangled, but he was able to get some quick repairs from the Kings' training staff and return to the game a few shifts later. Just a few shifts later! He ended playing more than 24 minutes in the whole contest with an awful injury. The blade came quite close to some key facial components and major arteries - but Forbort is a true hockey player. After the game, he held an interview to discuss the 4-3 overtime win over the Wild, and fans got to see a closeup of his nasty injury. 

This is also a pretty difficult sequence to watch...

Forbort was selected in the first round, 15th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings. So far, he has played in 168 games, recording four goals and 36 points, but he has surely proved this week that you can always count on him. 

Catching a skate to an unprotected area of the body is pretty much any hockey player's worst nightmare, but it looks like it didn't even scare Forbort.