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Nicklas Lidstrom loses Stanley Cup, gains every man's respect

Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during in the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

Lance Armstrong
and John Kruk have earned a lot of respect from their fellow men for overcoming the loss of a testicle during their careers as pro athletes.

But do either of them match the fortitude of Red Wing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom?

Lidstrom acknowledged that he missed Game 4 in the NHL semifinals because he was undergoing surgery on a testicle that had been "speared" a couple of days before. He even managed to practice between his injury and surgery.

Less than a week after being operated on, Lidstrom was back on the ice. That takes, well ... guts.

A Detroit Free Press headline read, "Lidstrom Admits Having Surgery During Playoffs," but given the circumstances, most guys would be bragging about that sort of perseverance. To nobody's surprise, he called it the most painful injury he has had.

Although Detroit eventually fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup, Lidstrom's consolation prize may be the undying respect of every man, everywhere, forever.

Incidentally, last year doctors feared that Philadelphia Flyers left wing Patrick Thoresen might need to have a testicle removed after he was hit in the groin by a hard shot, but he was eventually released from the hospital with no lasting damage. You can watch the video on YouTube if you have the stomach (hockey's a tough sport ... note how unimpressed the announcers seem).

-- Adam Rose

Photo: Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during in the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

 
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