September 27, 2006 PRINT Bookmark and Share

OSU's Fritsche Hospitalized, Season in Jeopardy

Junior Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Ohio State junior forward Tom Fritsche, the team's leading scorer with 30 points last season, has been hospitalized and may be lost for the season.

According to Ohio State coach John Markell, speaking at the CCHA Media Day luncheon Wednesday, Fritsche has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a serious and rare condition of the bowels.

Markell said that Fritsche's weight had dropped from 190 pounds to 145. In a best-case scenario, if the treatment works, the 5-foot-11 Fritsche, who turns 20 on Saturday, could return in 2-3 months.

"We do not know if we'll have him at all," Markell said. "It's a tough pill to swallow, not only for me and the coaching staff, but for kids because they are teammates and friends.

"He's in the hospital with his parents."

Fritsche, a second round NHL Draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche, is an Ohio (Parma) native. He had 11 goals and 30 points in 37 games last season, which followed a 45-point freshman campaign.

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