Kelowna’s Kyle Topping warms up on the ice against the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place on January 26. (Photo: Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images)

Kelowna’s Kyle Topping warms up on the ice against the Vancouver Giants at Prospera Place on January 26. (Photo: Marissa Baecker/Kelowna Rockets Images)

Rockets’ Kyle Topping makes successful comeback

Topping suffered a broken ankle in a game against Victoria back on Oct. 30

Kelowna Rockets’ star veteran Kyle Topping hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the lineup over the weekend.

On Saturday, Topping picked up the primary assist on the game-tying goal to force overtime against the Vancouver Giants.

The 20-year-old suffered a gruesome ankle injury, breaking his tibia/fibula in a game against the Victoria Royals on Oct. 30 and hadn’t played in 30 games.

The injury occurred when Topping chased down a puck in the offensive zone during the second period of the game. Topping was close to the boards when he describes losing an edge and falling feet first into the boards at high-speed.

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He said he knew immediately that something was wrong and had to get to the bench. When he got to the dressing room his parents were waiting for him and took him to the hospital where he underwent a successful surgery two days later.

Topping was initially given a timeline of 12 to 18 weeks to heal when his injury was added to the WHL report on Nov, 5. His return was slated to be anywhere between Jan. 28 and Mar. 10., past the Jan. 10. trade deadline.

Around mid-December he was cleared to hit the ice again, giving his newly re-constructed ankle a go. Topping said he was initially tentative to get on the ice, but took things slow, making sure he dealt with the injury the right way.

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After practicing with the team over Christmas break, the Rockets then decided to make a trade at the deadline, moving out a player to free a spot for the over-ager.

Then, on Friday, Topping completed his comeback and suited up for his first game back against the Seattle Thunderbirds. The plan was to ease him back into game action with limited playing time, but that plan quickly changed as he would suit up for all three games over the weekend.

Topping led the Rockets in scoring last season, registering 23 goals and 46 assists for 69 points in 68 games.

The Rockets will surely need Topping to regain his dominant play for their quest to win the Memorial Cup in May.

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