Ronny Keller, a defenseman for Olten of the Swiss B league, has been left paralyzed after getting hit into the boards during a playoff game, doctors reported Thursday.
Keller, 33, was chasing a puck into a corner when Langenthal forward Stefan Schnyder came up from behind and drove Keller into the boards with a hard hit in overtime of the game Tuesday.
Keller crashed head-first into the wall and remained on the ice motionless for several minutes as medical personnel attended to him.
Doctors at the hospital where Keller was taken released a statement Thursday with the grim prognosis.
"Following the serious injury of the fourth thoracic vertebra, Ronny Keller will be a permanent paraplegic. There is neither head nor brain injuries," the statement said.
Doctors said the severity of his paralysis will not be known for another two weeks.