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Injured Wis. Hockey Player Has Number Un-Retired

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(credit: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

(credit: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) — When a motorcycle crash left Matt Neary paralyzed from the chest down, his former hockey coach at Chippewa Falls High School retired his No. 19.

Neary appreciated the move. But he decided that returning the number into circulation might teach the current players an important lesson about life.

So the 1994 team captain asked his coach to un-retire the number this season.

Neary tells WEAU-TV he wants the guys to know that life can change in an instant. He hopes his number will remind them to make every moment last.

Neary recently earned a Master’s degree in occupational therapy. He says life took him in a different path after his crash, proving his point — life is unpredictable.

Neary is seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 82 points.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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