Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Detroit Red Wings and Swedish hockey team captain Henrik Zetterberg had to pull out of the Olympics due to a herniated disk that flared up overnight.
He is reportedly in severe pain and can barely move.
Zetterberg told Sweden’s Aftonbladet that it was an old back problem, only this time it’s 20 times worse.
“I just can’t play anymore here. It’s impossible,” said Zetterberg.”I can hardly move, the pain is incredible. It’s really sickening. I’ve been looking forward to this tournament for years and to have to leave it, I’m so frustrated.”
Sweden coach Par Marts said he talked to Zetterberg after he scored the winning goal against the Czech Republic on Wednesday, and obeserved that there was yet no problem.
“It was overnight,” he said.
Losing him most immediately impacts Sweden’s chances at the Olympics.
“I just feel my energy went down when I heard the news,” Swedish and Wings teammate Daniel Alfredsson said. “He’s our leader, our captain and one of our best players. To replace him is going to be impossible.”
Wings general manager Ken Holland said Zetterberg will stay in Sochi at least through the weekend because he is in too much pain to sit on an airplane.
Zetterberg, 33, is on anti-inflammation medication for now and will return to Detroit as soon as possible to see a specialist.
The Wings are awaiting to hear whether he will need surgery.
Zetterberg missed 11 games for the Wings in December after his back flared up.