Blue Jackets' Nick Foligno returning Tuesday after son's health scare

Nick Foligno will be returning to the ice Tuesday night against the Islanders after a nearly two-week absence.

Foligno has been with his family after his youngest son, Hudson, was diagnosed with a case of pneumonia so severe that his right lung collapsed.

Hudson has been in the hospital since March 11 and became even sicker when Foligno and the Blue Jackets were playing the Hurricanes on March 15.

However, Foligno said things are better and Hudson, who turns two in May, has been taken off a ventilator.

It’s the latest scary incident Foligno and his family have gone through — his five-year-old daughter, Milana, had open-heart surgery earlier in the season to deal with a a congenital heart defect. Foligno missed four games to be with his daughter as she recovered.

“I was pretty scared; even with everything we’ve gone through with my daughter, this is something so different,” Nick said Tuesday, via the team’s website. “You can’t prepare yourself to see your kid fighting like that. I really appreciate the support. It’s been a trying year off the ice with my family, but the support I’ve gotten has made it a lot easier from the guys in this room and this organization. We’re just going to keep plowing ahead and getting him better and hopefully put this behind us. 

“When you see your kid that age fighting — no kid should have to be on a breathing ventilator or dealing with this at that young of an age. He’s not the only one. You see other families and people in there. It just makes you appreciate the life you have and the health you have, and I’m looking forward to putting that to good use in the game (Tuesday).” 

According to Foligno, his son “still has a bit of a battle,” but is doing well enough to where the captain felt comfortable enough returning to work.

“It’s never easy,” Foligno said. “Your family is the most important thing, your kids are the most important thing. It pains you as a parent, I think anyone will attest to it, when you see your child there. You’d switch places with them in a second. Obviously my thoughts were with my son at the time. 

“If I’m going to step out there on the ice, I owe it to these guys to make sure I’m doing what I need to do as well, so I’ve been able to separate the two, but with how serious it got, I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving on that big of a road trip. I don’t have any regrets for it. I’m just happy to be back here.” 

Foligno has has scored 16 goals and 14 assists in 66 games this season. He will take the place of Markus Hannikainen in the lineup.