Toronto Maple Leafs centre John Tavares suffered an oblique injury while practising with the Canadian team ahead of the world hockey championship, the NHL club said Thursday in a statement.
Tavares will return to Toronto for further evaluation by the Leafs’ medical staff and a further update will be issued at a later date, the team said.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the 28-year-old centre suffered the injury.
Given that oblique injuries usually require at least a few weeks of recovery time, Tavares is likely a longshot to return to Slovakia for the May 10-26 tournament.
Tavares was one of the few stars on Canada’s roster. He had a career-high 47 goals with 41 assists in 82 games with the Maple Leafs in the regular season, and added two goals and three assists in seven playoff games.
Canada opens world championship play against Finland on Friday in Kosice.
The Canadian Press