(Reuters) - Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin said he will miss this weekend’s All Star Game because of a nagging lower-body injury.
Ovechkin played in his team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, but said he wouldn’t be making the trip to Nashville.
“This was a hard decision but we talk about it, coaching staff, trainers, and we tried to battle through it, but it’s stayed the same,” Ovechkin told reporters of his injury.
“I have to get ready for the rest of the year, get healthy, and I think we have a good chance to have success and I want to be a part of it.”
Ovechkin had been voted by fans as captain of the Metropolitan Division team after 28 goals and 14 assists this season.
His captaincy for the Capitals, however, is his top priority as Washington (35-8-4) head into the All Star break atop the NHL standings.
Under NHL rules, the Russian will now be required to sit out Washington’s game against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 2.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles. Editing by Patrick Johnston