International Ice Hockey Federation

Zetterberg out for Olympics

Zetterberg out for Olympics

Swedish captain to travel home due to injury

Published 14.02.2014 13:24 GMT+4 | Author Martin Merk
Zetterberg out for Olympics
Henrik Zetterberg missed the practice after his first game at the 2014 Olympics. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
The Swedish national team loses its captain Henrik Zetterberg due to an old back injury. He will leave the tournament after having played one game.

Zetterberg played in Sweden’s first game against the Czech Republic but hasn’t practised since due to back problems. He missed yesterday’s practice and didn’t join his team either in today’s pre-game skate for the match against Switzerland.

Team doctor Bjorn Waldeback addressed the media and said Zetterberg has a herniated disc. During the pre-game skate it became known that he will not only miss today’s game against Switzerland but that he will be out for the remainder of the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament in Sochi and will fly home.

“He is still suffering from his back injury and it is so painful for him that he can't be in it any more. It is Z who has taken this decision together with me,” Waldeback said. “I think it is the cumulative load. There was no specific thing that happened in the game. The issues came the morning after. These are nerve-related issues and they often come creeping in. It is not one specific injury.

"[The NHL doctors] totally agree with us. When you suffer from a herniated disc the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation."

Zetterberg recently missed 11 NHL games due to back problems. His injury is a big blow for Sweden’s medal ambitions after having lost another centre due to injury, Henrik Sedin, just before the tournament.

“I spoke with Z on the evening after (Wednesday's) game and he didn't show any signs of feeling the slightest pain,” Swedish head coach Par Marts said. “Of course it's nothing one wishes for, but we have to see the possibilities and look forward.”

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Zetterberg’s place on the line with Gabriel Landeskog and Alexander Steen will likely be taken by Patrik Berglund. Niklas Kronwall will be the new team captain.

The team will not be able to nominate another player because replacements were only possible before the beginning of the tournament.

However, each men’s team consists of a 25-man roster. Marcus Johansson, who was scratched in the first game, will probably be in the line-up after Zetterberg’s injury.


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