Back injury forces Michigan State’s Golembiewski to hang up the skates

Michigan State junior forward Zach Golembiewski has decided to end his college hockey career on the advice of medical professionals, the school announced Tuesday.

Golembiewski’s doctors have advised him to stop playing due to a back issue.

“We are obviously disappointed in learning the news that Zach’s injury will prevent him from continuing his playing career at Michigan State, yet grateful that it has been identified so that he will not be exposed to any long-term health risks,” MSU head coach Tom Anastos said in a statement. “We are fully supportive of Zach’s decision to end his competitive hockey career. Zach will continue to be a member of our team in some capacity, which will be determined over the next several days.”

“This was a tough decision,” added Golembiewski. “It was a struggle at first, because you put 12, 13 years into your passion, and all of a sudden, someone’s advising you that it’s best that you give up what you love. Playing at Michigan State was first a goal, then it became a dream come true. I am so blessed to have been able to wear the green and white jersey and be a part of this program.”

Golembiewski, a winger who appeared in 56 career games over two seasons, injured his back over the summer and it was not responding to treatment. A diagnosis revealed that the injury was not healing due to an underlying condition and subsequent advice from specialists led to his decision.

Golembiewski is expected to lead a fully functional life in which he can still participate in athletic endeavors, including pick up/shinny hockey, as well as pursue his passion for golf, according to an MSU news release.


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