Updates from Thursday, May 22
Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington reports that Ovechkin is cleared to play in Thurday's game against France:
Ovechkin returned to practice with Russia on Wednesday and indicated he would play on Thursday, adding that the injury was not his knee.
While many Caps fans may be breathing a sigh of relief that Ovechkin’s injury only kept him out of one game, others may feel he is putting himself at risk by playing four days after being helped off the ice.
NHL.com reported that he was in the lineup for the Russian squad:
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin returned to Russia's lineup for its quarterfinal game Thursday against France at the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, Belarus.
Slava Malamud of Sport-Express.ru passed along Ovechkin's update on his condition after speaking to the media:
Updates from Wednesday, May 21
Igor Eronko of Sports.Ru confirms Alex Ovechkin has returned to practice:
Updates from Monday, May 19
Slava Malamud and Andy Potts of IIHFWorlds2014.com provides a statement from Russia general manager Andrei Safronov discussing Alex Ovechkin's injury status with reporters:
Sasha [Ovechkin] will definitely stay with the team. Even if he couldn't play he'd still be here. He's not just a part of this team, he's a leader.
He's OK at the moment. There's some pain, but he's working with the doctors.
Knowing Sasha if there's even a five percent chance he can play, he'll want to be out there.
Malamud previously provided additional details surrounding Ovechkin's injury:
Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press previously provided a synopsis of Russia discussing Ovechkin's availability for the team's upcoming game:
The NHL Talk Twitter feed added more details about the ligament damage:
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin suffered a knee injury Sunday while competing for Russia in the men's ice hockey world championships.
Slava Malamud of Sport-Express.ru reported the news, describing what befell Ovechkin:
Video also emerged of the hit that sidelined Ovechkin:
Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press analyzed what the loss of Ovechkin would mean moving forward:
Malamud added that the injury could have been even worse:
The Capitals star took to Instagram to show his fans he was feeling better:
Ovechkin is not only a critical figure in Russian hockey, but he's also a massive star in the NHL for Washington. Any long-term absence would be devastating for the sport as a whole. With nine seasons as a Capital under his belt, he has yet to come close to winning the Stanley Cup, and Washington missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007 this past season.
"It’s part of my job. I’m captain of the team and of course I have to take responsibility,” said Ovechkin after the season, per The Washington Post's Katie Carrera. "I have to take criticism."
The hope is that the talented 28-year-old scoring dynamo can be healthy enough to respond to any of his detractors. Based on the news emerging from Sunday, Ovechkin's immediate future appears ominous. Until more is known about his circumstances, it's difficult to project just how severe this unfortunate situation is.
If this injury is as serious as it seems, there may not be a chance for Ovechkin to build on his fifth 50-goal campaign and push the Capitals to championship glory. The numbers Ovechkin has put up have been exceptional, but until Washington wins something of more substance, he will continue to face scrutiny.