Injury keeps Girgensons off the ice for national team

Latvia’s Hockey Federation (LHF) officially confirmed that star forward Zemgus Girgensons would not recover from an ankle injury in time to join the national championship team in the Czech Republic, BNS newswire reported Thursday.

The Buffalo Sabres forward was propelled by Latvian fans from near-obscurity to good-natured notoriety as an All-Star player of North America’s National Hockey League (NHL) this season.

But he was pulled out of remaining regular season games by the since-sacked coach Ted Nolan after a puck hit him in the ankle during a February 24 game and caused a trauma he was unable to recover from either in time for the remainder of the NHL season for his last-place Sabres, nor for joining the Latvian national team.

Girgensons is reported to be gingerly getting back into skating form in the meantime without committing to a full practice regimen.

On its part the Latvian hockey team won just a single game against Belarus out of six exhibition matches against Belarus, France and Norway.

Friday and Saturday this week the team takes on Slovakia at Arena Riga before the World Championship kicks off from May 1-17.

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