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Hockey: Fenwick’s Vinny Chiarelli hard at work with rebuilt knee

<p>Fenwick’s Vince Chiarelli (8) pins Evanston’s Lucas Zecker behind the net during the Friars’ Blackhawk Cup victory at The Edge. | Jason Glosniak/for Sun-Times Media</p>

Fenwick’s Vince Chiarelli (8) pins Evanston’s Lucas Zecker behind the net during the Friars’ Blackhawk Cup victory at The Edge. | Jason Glosniak/for Sun-Times Media

Fenwick’s Vinny Chiarelli is thankful for every hockey game he gets to play.

The senior has had three knee surgeries and knows a season, and maybe even his hockey career, can end at any time. Chiarelli has been on skates for as long as he can remember, but during his sophomore season playing hockey for Fenwick he started feeling pain in his left knee. It progressively got worse and in February 2012, he went to see Dr. Craig Finlayson, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“I got an MRI and he was asking how I was still walking,” Chiarelli said. “I had a break in the bottom part of my femur and I had parts of bone floating around.”

Surgery was scheduled for two weeks later. Chiarelli had two screws put in to help keep the bone together. He was on crutches for eight weeks and was ready to go when his junior season started that August . Five games into the season, Chiarelli started having pain in his knee again. Another MRI showed the screws had bent and Finlayson recommended a bone graft. Some bone and cartilage from his left knee was moved to the problem area and Chiarelli was back on crutches for another eight weeks.

“That surgery was horrendous,” Chiarelli recalled. “The pain was extensive. I didn’t get out of bed for two weeks. But I was kind of thinking that I would get through it and be better off from it.”

[Read the full story on High School Cube News.]

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