Despite an impressive performance for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships, Islanders rookie John Tavares left Germany with some bad news.
Tavares, who finished with a tournament-leading seven goals in seven games, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. He is expected to be out 2-4 weeks.
The injury occurred after Tavares took a shot off the skate during Canada’s game against Sweden last month. Tavares noticed considerable soreness and bruising the next day, although a subsequent X-ray came back negative and allowed the 19-year-old to play the last two remaining games.
Upon returning home to Ontario, Tavares still noticed some tenderness but felt he wasn't inhibited in any major way. He said he worked out and even played a couple of rounds of golf without any problems.
For precautionary measures, however, the Islanders asked Tavares to come to Long Island and get his foot checked out. An MRI yesterday revealed the stress fracture.
"To be honest, I don't feel like it bugs me that much, but it's obviously better to be cautious," Tavares told Newsday. "One of the good things is that I'll have lots of time to recover and heal properly."
Tavares, who arrived at an NHLPA event in Toronto today wearing a walking boot, said he'll remain in the boot for two weeks, after which the team's medical staff will assess his progress.
"I think I'll be able to begin skating at the beginning of July, which was my plan anyway," Tavares said.
Regardless of the injury, Tavares said he had a great experience playing for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships in Germany last month.
"It was something very positive, besides the injury," Tavares said. "The tournament was a great experience, I had a lot of fun and it was great to play for guys like Craig MacTavish and Mark Messier. They helped me a lot both on the ice and off the ice as well."
And despite the unwanted souvenir stress fracture he brought home to Canada, Tavares said he was pleased with his performance.
"On the ice, I thought I had a good tournament," he said. "I learned a lot and played hockey at the highest level."