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Canada ponders Ryan Getzlaf's injury

Team officials are in a waiting pattern regarding the Ducks center's sprained ankle.

February 14, 2010|By Helene Elliott

Reporting from Vancouver, Canada — Executives of the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team will give Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf as much time as possible to determine whether his sprained left ankle has healed enough to carry him through the Olympic tournament, but they want to see him play to ensure he's ready.

They'll get only one more chance because the Ducks finish their pre-Olympic break schedule Sunday at Edmonton.

Getzlaf, selected to center Canada's second line with Ducks linemate Corey Perry, injured his ankle Monday and has not played since. Canada must submit its Olympic roster by noon Monday in advance of its opener Tuesday against Norway.

A Ducks spokesman said Getzlaf participated fully in Saturday's game-day skate in Calgary and skated in the pregame warmups but did not play against the Flames.

"We don't want to put any pressure on him to come back before he's ready," Steve Yzerman, executive director of Team Canada, said at a news conference Saturday. "Right now it's in the medical staff of the Ducks' hands."

Getzlaf injured his ankle when he got tangled up with Kings winger Dustin Brown Monday. He was initially reliant on crutches and a walking boot but quickly shed them and has skated the last three days. Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter has been told to travel to Vancouver and prepare to play if Getzlaf is ruled out.

"He skated today and whether he plays or not tomorrow we'll find out, and then we're prepared to make a decision," Yzerman said of Getzlaf.

Canada shouldn't need Getzlaf to win its opener, and Yzerman said he and his staff have debated the wisdom of keeping Getzlaf on the team even if he's not at full strength by Tuesday.

Slap shots

Canada's women's team, the defending Olympic champion, beat Olympic first-timer Slovakia, 18-0, Saturday in front of 16,496 at Canada Hockey Place. Meghan Agosta and Jayna Hefford each had a hat trick. . . . Forward Tomas Holmstrom of Sweden injured his left knee during the Detroit Red Wings' 4-1 victory over Ottawa on Saturday, casting doubt on whether he can play in the Olympics. His Red Wings teammate, Finnish forward Valtteri Filppula, sat out against Ottawa because of a sore groin and told reporters he's hoping to be ready for Finland's Olympic opener against Belarus on Wednesday. "I'm concerned," Filppula said. . . . Forward Zach Parise of the U.S. sat out the New Jersey Devils' game Wednesday because of an undisclosed upper-body injury but returned Friday to earn a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over Nashville. He's expected to be fine for the Games.

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