Sweden’s Rickard Rakell hospitalized due to illness

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Rickard Rakell was a late addition to Sweden’s World Cup roster as a replacement for St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen who is continuing to recover from offseason shoulder surgery.

Now Sweden might find itself in a position where it will also have to find a replacement for Rakell.

The Anaheim Ducks forward did not play in Sweden’s pre-tournament exhibition game against Finland on Saturday, and according to coach Rikard Gronborg he is currently hospitalized in Sweden due to an unspecified illness.

The rest of the Swedish roster traveled to Washington D.C. on Sunday for their next pre-tournament exhibition game on Wednesday night against Team Europe.

Said Gronborg on Sunday, via ESPN’s Joe MacDonald, “He didn’t feel any better this morning, so he went back to the hospital. So far we haven’t found anything.”

If Rakell is unable to rejoin the team, Sweden has until Friday, September 16, to replace him on the roster. The team also played Saturday’s game without Chicago Blackhawks forward Marcus Kruger after he suffered an upper body injury in their first pre-tournament game against Finland. Kruger did travel with the team and is currently practicing.

The tournament begins on Saturday in Toronto.

The 23-year-old Rakell is coming off of a breakout season in the NHL for the Ducks that saw him score 20 goals and add 23 assists in 72 games. All of those were career highs for the 2011 first-round pick.

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