Days after surgery, Dube anxious to compete again

Updated: February 10, 2007, 7:17 PM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Canadian pairs skater Jessica Dube has watched the replay of her accident several times and hasn't turned away.

"I was thinking it was worse than that," she said Saturday before the women's final at Four Continents.

Dube had surgery Thursday night to repair lacerations to her left cheek and nose after being hit by partner Bryce Davison's skate in the free skate competition. She was released from a Colorado Springs hospital Friday night.

Annie Barabe, who coaches Dube and Davison, said Dube's ready to get back on the ice.

The doctors, though, want her to wait at least 10 more days.

"In her head, she thinks she's going to be fine and she told me she would've been ready to skate [Saturday]," Barabe said. "She's very, very tough."

Barabe and Davison are still haunted by the image.

"She doesn't remember the accident," Barabe said. "She doesn't see it in her head. Bryce and me, we can still see it. When we go to sleep and close our eyes, we can see that."

The pair was on its third rotation of a side-by-side flying camel -- where one leg is parallel to the ice as they spin -- when Davison began to drift toward Dube, catching her with his skate.

"They were very, very close going into it," Barabe said. "When they're close, one or the other stops. He said he started to travel and wanted to put the leg down, but it was too late."

The first thing she wants to do after returning to the ice is the flying camel.

"Just farther apart," she said with a smile.

After being struck by Davison's skate, Dube immediately fell to the ice and clutched at her face as blood went on the ice. Davison comforted her as the medical staff rushed onto the ice, put her on a gurney and transported her to a local hospital.

"I got emotional right away," Barabe said. "I've been teaching this girl for 13 years and have no children of my own. She's like my own little girl."

Dube had sutures in several layers under the skin as well as fine sutures on the skin. She showed up with Davison to watch the men's final Friday night.

"She should have no complications," International Skating Union medical adviser Dr. Jane Moran said. "She's very, very lucky."

Dube plans on being ready for the world championships in March.

"If her head is fine, and her face, and she wants to go, why not?" Barabe said.

Barabe said Davison may see a sports psychologist when he returns home. While Dube isn't hesitant to do the spin again, he is.

"He's scared," Barabe said. "We're going to make sure his head is fine to keep going on [with] his skating career."

After waking up from surgery, Dube asked Barabe how teammate Cynthia Phaneuf did in the women's short program, who won the pairs event and how she and Davison would've finished if not for the accident. The pair was skating a clean program until the accident.

"I just said third," Barabe said.

Debbie MacMurdo, vice president of Skate Canada, said whether the pair makes the trip to worlds will depend on Dube's health.

"[It] will be dependent on how ready they are to do the job at worlds," MacMurdo said.

Dube said she'll definitely be ready in time.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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