WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin said his broken left foot is healing well after playing almost three full games on it last month.
The Washington Capitals captain, who won his third Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP, suffered a hairline fracture in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals against the New York Rangers. He did not miss any time, playing in Game 7 the next night and then at the IIHF world championship days later.
“Foot is OK,” Ovechkin said on a conference call Sunday morning. “Right now I’m walking fine. I’m gonna start playing tennis soon so I’m gonna be in good shape. … It’s kind of getting better. I feel pretty good about my foot.”
Ovechkin kept playing because he could not make the injury worse. He knew something was wrong but said Sunday morning on a conference call that he did not have an MRI until after playing for Russia in Stockholm.
“I make a blocked shot. The puck broke my foot, and I played with it,” Ovechkin said. “I never asked (Capitals trainer Greg Smith) or (Dr. Benjamin Shaffer) about let’s make an MRI or something. I just played the game because it’s the playoffs. It doesn’t matter what happen. You have to be there and you have to play the best that you can.”
Ovechkin played all 48 regular-season and seven playoff games for the Capitals, even though general manager George McPhee said he was playing through some other injuries.
“I don’t know how many games I miss for all my NHL career with injury, probably like maybe 10, maybe 12,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t know. But I know if I can feel it and maybe get some injection and I know I can play, I’m never gonna say I’m not gonna play. It’s not my style.”
The broken foot was never considered something that would keep him off the ice for training camp. That’s even less of a concern a month after the injury.
Neither Ovechkin nor McPhee revealed what injuries the 27-year-old right wing was playing through.