Henrik Zetterberg, captain of the Swedish Olympic team and the Detroit Red Wings, will miss the remainder of the Olympics with a herniated disc in his back. Zetterberg becomes the first big name injured from the Olympic games, something the NHL and their clubs have feared after allowing players to participate in the 2014 games.
Hank has already 11 games this season for the Red Wings with a “slightly” herniated disc in his back. He has also had back injuries throughout his career which have limited his game action. As of now, Zetterberg is out of NHL action indefinitely as he tries to recover.
Zetterberg “is in a great deal of discomfort, so in fairness to Sweden, the Detroit Red Wings organization and himself, he is pulling out of the Olympics. He has to see a doctor, but he will not be ready by the time we come out of the Olympic break. Beyond that, I have no real time frame.” Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
“I don’t know if he will need surgery,” Holland added. “He needs to see a doctor. He is going to wait until he feels better, then fly home early next week. There is an NHL charter going back to the States on Thursday, he may be on that. It is obviously a huge disappointment for him.”
The timing could not be any worse for the Red Wings as they try to make a push down the stretch to guarantee a playoff spot. In addition to Zetterberg’s injury, the Red Wings are also without Johan Franzen, and have been playing without Pavel Datsyuk for much of 2014. Newly acquired center Stephen Weiss will return following the Olympic break and will be counted on to turn his season around and pick up some of the slack.
While there really is no time table on Zetterberg’s return, he could end up sitting out the remainder of the year. A herniated disc for Jason Spezza, which required surgery, kept the Senators star out for nearly four months.