According to Slovakian team doctor Dalimir Jancovic, Gaborik still has significant weakness in his right leg and difficulty fully flexing his knee one week after a collision in practice with New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist left him with a deep skate gash to his lower thigh.
"I think he needs without training three days still," Jancovic told NHL.com.
That would be a major blow to a Slovakian team that must play the Czech Republic and Russia in its first two games in Group play Wednesday and Thursday. While all 12 teams in Group play will advance to the one-and-done portion of the tournament, only the top four teams will receive byes into the quarterfinals. And the lower a team finishes in Group play, the more difficult an opponent it will draw once the elimination games begin.
Marian Hossa, the team's other elite scorer, surprised even himself by making it through the entire practice three days after a high hit from Atlanta's Colby Armstrong left him wobbly and unable to play in the Chicago Blackhawks' final NHL game before the Olympic break on Sunday.
"Today I did a little bike test and I didn’t have any headaches, so I decided to skate for the first 20 or 25 minutes," Hossa said. "But it felt pretty good, so I stayed out for the whole practice. Basically, I didn't go hard – I went 60-70 percent.
"But if I'm going to feel pretty good in the next hour that's a good sign. (Tuesday) I have to do some tests with the doctor. And if I pass those tests, I should be cleared to play."