116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CORALVILLE — His reaction was what your reaction would have been.
A trip to the hospital and subsequent tests revealed lacerations to his liver and kidney. He was stunned.
“I was like ‘Really?’ I couldn’t believe it,” the Heartlanders winger said. “I mean, I had a little pain, but you never expect your liver has been cut. So when I heard it, there was a little shock, and I knew I was going to be out at least two months. It was kind of hard. But my mindset after getting injured was that you can’t change what happened. So in my mind, I felt like I had to step up and prepare for the upcoming (rehab). I kept my mind very positive the whole time.”
Miura was expected to miss as much as three months of the ECHL season, but returned to the Iowa lineup last week, just a month and a half later. Appropriately, he scored his team’s first goal in a win last Wednesday over Tulsa.
“I feel so happy to be back on the ice,” he said. “When I scored that goal, that was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life.”
Miura has quickly become the most popular Heartlanders player.
The 25-year-old from Japan has had a productive rookie professional season on the ice, with seven goals and seven assists in 20 games. His sheer joy playing hockey is so evident.
He also has an uplifting personality off the ice, someone who almost always has a smile on his face.
“When I was upstairs (in the stands) watching, so many people would come up to me and take a picture and say ‘Hope you are getting back soon,’” he said. “I love this team and the people around here. I can’t thank them enough.”
Miura quickly pointed out his appreciation for the Heartlanders training staff and doctors who have helped him get back onto the ice sooner than expect. By all accounts, he worked extremely hard to keep up his strength and conditioning during rehab, which has helped him have a successful return.
“He brought a spark, he brings energy,” said Heartlanders Coach Gerry Fleming. “Yuki worked so hard to get himself prepared for when he did come back. You can tell. He missed two months and was arguably the most conditioned, noticeable guy on the ice. So kudos to Yuki for preparing himself to get ready to back playing.”
“About two or three weeks after the injury, I had no pain anymore and started doing some easy exercises. I was so lucky,” Miura said. “The season has, like, 35 games left, so I was happy I could come back at this point ... I prepared well, both mentally and physically,” Miura said. “My legs and my cardio were totally fine. Actually I think they’re better than before I got hurt. I did a lot of (skating) and strength training. I learned that hard work pays off.”
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