Marian Gaborik not cleared, won't play for Slovakia in Olympics

Gaborik has represented Slovakia in the past two Olympic tournaments. (Getty Images)
Gaborik has represented Slovakia in the past two Olympic tournaments. (Getty Images)

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Slovakia will be without one of their top scoring threats when the Olympics get under way next week; the Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Thursday that Marian Gaborik will not be able to play in Sochi.

Gaborik was named to the Slovakian roster even though he had a broken collarbone, which he suffered on Dec. 21, and on Thursday the organization said that doctors still haven't cleared Gaborik to play.

"I'm extremely disappointed that I won't be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team," said Gaborik. "I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future."

Clearly it's a tough break for Gaborik, especially considering he appears to be very close to being able to play. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen says the team is hopeful he'll be ready to go very soon.

"Marian has worked extremely hard and done everything possible to rehabilitate his injury and return to the ice with the hope of representing his country in Sochi," Kekalainen said. "We share his deep disappointment that he will not be able to do so, but are optimistic that he will be fully recovered very soon."

Gaborik had five goals and seven assists this season for the Blue Jackets in just 18 games. He is a free agent after this season and has been mentioned in possible trade speculation, so he'll have more to think about while continuing to rehab than just missing the Games.

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