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Russian coach says Datsyuk still struggling with lower-body injury

Feb 13, 2014, 5:34 PM EDT

Pavel Datsyuk Getty Images

In what was a bit of a surprise, Pavel Datsyuk played for Russia against Slovenia today after missing practice.

Datsyuk has been hampered by a lower-body injury and the Russian coach said it’s still an issue as Larry Lage of AP shares.

Speaking through an interpreter, Russia coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said “Pavel is having a difficult time, still,” with his lower-body injury.

Datsyuk’s nagging injury kept him out of the Detroit Red Wings lineup for most of January. He said he wasn’t concerned about it being an issue at the Olympics, but it’s clear it’s still giving him some trouble.

The Russians face the United States on Saturday and they’ll need Datsyuk in the lineup to try and keep Team USA’s centers under control. Considering the amount of speed the Americans played with in their 7-1 win against Slovakia, it’ll be Datsyuk’s toughest test of the tournament.

  1. rbbbaron - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Love the guy and am happy for him personally that he has this opportunity…but as a Wings fan and owner of Pav on both my fantasy teams, I’m grinding my teeth

    • elrock7 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      If I were a Wings fan I would be pissed that he is playing period. If you are hurt, your first responsibility is to your team.

      He got rich from the Wings and they should be his first priority. I listened to his interview the other day and was not impressed with him. He came off as arrogant and disrespectful. I never thought he was like that… guess I was wrong

      • rbbbaron - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:31 AM

        Yeah, these are nerve-racking times for Holland and anyone else with a stake in the Wings’ success. We just have to hope that all the talk of Pav not being at 100% means he’s at, oh, no worse than 95%. More realistically this is like a playoff situation where players try to play through whatever is ailing them. With Franzen probably out for a while and Zetterberg possibly going under the knife, it’s a pretty helpless feeling knowing that Datsyuk may be risking his future availability for this…

  2. LampyB - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    As a Wings fan he should have sat out today if he wasnt able to practice. Your first responsibility is to you contractual employer. If you’re hurt, you absolutely CANNOT play in olympics and sit out when you get back to Detroit.

    I hope to god he’s thinking “i can barely play here, what happens if i push the limits and play, then go on IR when i return to nhl?”

    That would be a huge mistake

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