There has been plenty of uncertainty surrounding Pavel Datsyuk and his participation in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, although the events of Tuesday could end that.
Datsyuk has been dealing with a lower-body injury, playing in only two games since the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. However, he was on the ice for Russia’s team practice on Tuesday, per Elliotte Friedman of CBC.
Datsyuk is the captain of the Russian team, which has massive expectations on it this year, in part because Russia is the host nation, but also because the team was knocked out of the competition in the quarterfinal four years ago in Vancouver.
But the health of the 35-year-old Datsyuk has been in question for some time now. Even his general manager in Detroit, Ken Holland, doesn’t believe Datsyuk is at his best, physically.
“He’s probably been preparing for this tournament for five or six years when it was announced that it was coming to Russia,” Holland said recently. “I’m sure if he couldn’t play, he won’t play.
“Is he 100 percent? Probably not, but there are probably other players in this tournament who aren’t 100 percent.”
Update: Datsyuk says he’ll play Thursday versus Slovenia.