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Injuries an Olympic worry

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had to spend an extra night inhospital, his leg sliced open by the skate of Rick Nash on Saturdaynight, but is expected to recover, said GM Jim Rutherford.

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had to spend an extra night in hospital, his leg sliced open by the skate of Rick Nash on Saturday night, but is expected to recover, said GM Jim Rutherford.

“They extended it one day for precautionary reasons,” said Rutherford. “He got stitches and they want to make sure there’s no infection. He’s definitely going to miss some time.”

And Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek missed the end of Saturday night’s 5-1 win over Detroit with an injury described only as “lower body.” Leaf coach Ron Wilson says he believes it was nothing serious.

The two players find themselves among the NHL’s walking wounded. As of yesterday, 121 players were listed with injuries, some 17.5 per cent of the 690 roster spots available in the league.

“It seems like every night we’re watching highlights and guys are going down every night,” said Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman.

Of particular concern to Yzerman is the number of high-profile Canadians on the sidelines right now, including Ward, Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, Carolina centre Erik Staal, Chicago centre Jonathan Toews, Nashville defenceman Shea Weber and Boston centre Marc Savard.

Injuries — an issue to be dealt with this week at the NHL general managers’ meetings — have a double effect this season for elite players. Not only does it affect their teams, it could affect their chances of making it to the Olympics.

And this surge of injuries makes the job a little bit tougher for the national selection committee.

Team Canada hopefuls taking a hit
• G Cam Ward, Hurricanes— Lacerated leg, at least 3 weeks
• C Marc Savard, Bruins — Broken left foot, another month
• C Eric Staal, Hurricanes —Upper body injury, 2-4 weeks
• C Simon Gagne, Flyers — Abdominal surgery, two months
• G Roberto Luongo, Canucks — Broken rib, indefinitely
• C Jonathan Toews, Hawks — Concussion, indefinitely
• F Milan Lucic, Bruins — Broken finger, another month
• C Danny Briere Flyers — Groin injury, indefinitely

 
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