Maple Leafs’ John Tavares suffers oblique injury at Canada practice

Toronto Maple Leafs centre John Tavares. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares has sustained an oblique injury, the team announced Thursday.

Per the club, Tavares suffered the injury while preparing for the world championships with Team Canada. He will travel back to Toronto to be evaluated.

John Tavares left Team Canada practice earlier today with an injury

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Hockey Canada also released a statement on Tavares and the joint decision to have him sit out the tournament.

“We are disappointed that John will not be able to participate as a member of Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, but after contacting the Toronto Maple Leafs we agreed it was best for him to return home for further evaluation,” Jason Botterill, a member of the management group for Canada’s National Men’s Team, said in the release. “We know John was excited about the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf once again, and we were excited to have John as a member of our team and to welcome his many years of NHL and international experience.”

Tavares was named to Team Canada last month after the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Boston Bruins. The 28-year-old set new career-highs in goals (47) and points (88) in 2018-19 — his first with the Toronto after signing with the club in free agency in July.

Tavares last competed at the worlds in 2012 after also representing Canada at the tournament in 2010 and 2011. Though he has never won gold at the tournament, his international resume includes back-to-back world junior golds in 2008 and 2009 and a gold medal at the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.
He also won gold with Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic Games, but suffered season-ending knee injury during the quarter-final.

The 2019 IIHF World Championships begin May 10 in Slovakia.


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