PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Republic’s Jaromir Jagr was expected to recover from injury to face Finland in the world ice hockey championships quarter-final after hurting his groin in the last game, a team physician said on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old winger, who played less than two minutes of Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win over Switzerland, is the leading Czech scorer with four goals in the tournament so far having put in performances that have belied his age.
Jagr, who finished the NHL season as a Florida Panther, appeared to take a stick to the groin early in the game against Switzerland and never returned as the team took a cautious approach towards the future Hall of Fame forward.
“There is a little question mark whether he will play, but it is more likely (he will),” Petr Kolar was quoted as saying by local media ahead of Thursday’s clash. “It is a key game for him, bigger than yesterday and that is why we chose this way.”
Jagr is wildly popular in his home country and wears the number 68 to commemorate the Prague Spring of 1968 when Warsaw Pact tanks invaded the Czech Republic to crush reforms of the Communist government that veered away from the Moscow line.
Reporting by Robert Muller,; Editing by Michael Kahn and Ken Ferris