The 28-year-old had hoped to be ready for the start of the Olympics on Feb. 16 against Switzerland, but final tests today revealed that the rehab had not progressed as quickly as Komisarek had hoped.
The hard-hitting blueliner has not played since injuring his shoulder in a game a month ago at Calgary, just one day after being selected for Team USA. The executive director of USA Hockey, Dave Ogrean, said in a conference call to the media on Monday that a decision on Komisarek's Olympic status needed to be made by this coming weekend.
Ogrean said that while the national team does not have to formally submit its final rosters until they physically check into the Olympic village, the management team had made the decision to set a bar of having to play a certain number of games before the Games began. While he did not reveal the exact number, he said the decision of who was in and who was out would be made by Feb. 7.
With only four Maple Leafs games remaining before the trip to Vancouver (at New Jersey Devils on Friday, at home to the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks on Saturday and Monday, and away at St Louis Blues on Feb. 12), time was always against Komisarek.
Many experts thought the 6'4" defenseman needed to play in all four games to have a legitimate shot at being ready for the Olympics.
In a statement published by the Associated Press, Komisarek said: ""Our team doctors have recommended this after a determined effort to rehab the injury without surgery. Having this done immediately is the right thing to do for the Leafs. I am truly sorry that I will not be able to represent my country at the Olympics."
Komisarek had recorded four points and 40 penalty minutes in 34 games for the Leafs this season.
An ESPN report says potential Olympic replacements for Martin and Komisarek include the Atlanta Thrashers' Ron Hainsey, the Los Angeles Kings' Rob Scuderi, Ryan Whitney of the Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes' Tim Gleason.
TSN is reporting that Gleason is the most likely candidate to be Komisarek's replacement on Team USA, which will hold a conference call on Thursday.
A blogger on NHL Fanhouse is quoting several published reports that Phoenix's Keith Yandle, Pittsburgh's Alex Goligoski, New Jersey's Andy Greene, and Anaheim's James Wisniewski are also in the mix for an Olympic spot.
The injury is the second blow in three days to Team USA, which also lost New Jersey Devils' defenseman Paul Martin to a broken forearm on Monday. Martin had also hoped to be fit enough in time to play a key role for the Americans in Vancouver, but he wasn't able to recover from surgery on his left arm in December in time.
More Olympic Coverage
To read about the storylines surrounding Team USA's hockey team, click here.
For an interview with Olympian John Daly, click here.
For a preview of Team USA's chances for gold in Vancouver, click here.
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