Jan 23, 2014, 9:10 AM EST
New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) has started to practice and still hopes to return before the Olympic break. Even if he manages to do that though, the Islanders won’t let him play for Team Slovakia in the 2014 Winter Games.
“As much as Lubo would like to represent his country and participate in the Olympics, our doctors and I are not comfortable with him going to play,” Islanders GM Garth Snow told Newsday.
As recently as Tuesday, Visnovsky was talking about his desire to still participate in the Olympics. The 37-year-old was named to the team’s roster for a fifth and likely final time.
Only 14 players that were born in Slovakia have participated in at least one NHL game this season, so losing Visnovsky is a major blow.
Visnovsky hasn’t played since Oct. 19.
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