In news that Detroit Red Wings fans were dreading, Henrik Zetterberg has left the Olympics as Sweden’s hockey captain due to a back injury.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Zetterberg has a herniated disk that will prevent him from returning to the Red Wings’ lineup as well. Team officials are hoping medication will relieve the swelling but have no timetable for Zetterberg’s return.
Detroit general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that the Red Wings captain, “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.”
Zetterberg is in so much pain that he apparently can’t travel out of Sochi until the pain lessens.
“I don’t know if he will need surgery,” Holland said. “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.”
Red Wings defenseman and fellow Swedish countryman Niklas Kronwall replaces Zetterberg as Team Sweden’s captain.