MINSK, Belarus – Alex Ovechkin will miss at least one game at the world championship after injuring his right leg in a collision during Russia’s game against Germany.
The star forward needed hospital treatment Sunday after taking a hit to his right knee from Marcus Kink midway through the third period. He stayed on the ice for several minutes before he needed assistance to leave.
The International Ice Hockey Federation said Ovechkin will miss Russia’s final group game against host Belarus on Tuesday but remains with the team.
Russia’s ice hockey federation said it is not clear if he will be able to keep playing at the tournament but Ovechkin posted on Twitter “all’s OK” with a photo of him giving a thumbs up.
“Sasha (Ovechkin) will definitely stay with the team,” Russia general manager Andrei Safronov said Monday. “Even if he couldn’t play he’d still be here. He’s not just a part of this team, he’s a leader.”
A medical scan of the Russia captain’s knee ruled out torn ligaments, providing some good news.
“He’s OK at the moment,” Safronov said. “There’s some pain, but he’s working with the doctors.”
The Washington Capitals, Ovechkin’s NHL team, said they had reviewed available medical reports and were confident Ovechkin would be completely healthy by training camp.
“We will continue to monitor his progress and request additional tests and medical information for our review,” the team said in a statement. “Once our medical staff receives and reviews that information, we will be able to make a better determination of the injury.”
Kink was not penalized for the incident during the game, but the disciplinary panel of the IIHF suspended him for Germany’s last group game against the United States on Tuesday. The panel said Kink didn’t intentionally try to hit Ovechkin’s knee, but he lowered his body and hit him with his hip, which is classified as clipping.
International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel said Monday it was an “accident … bad luck.”
Another Russian star forward, Evgeni Malkin, was training Monday for the first time in Minsk after his Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the New York Rangers.
Malkin is expected to be available for Tuesday’s final group game against Belarus.
Russia has won all six of its games and is the only unbeaten team in the tournament.