Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin said his preparations to play for Team Russia in the World Cup of Hockey 2016 are on track, despite reports he was injured during training.
"Right now I am continuing to get ready for the season, especially that we will have an early start because of the World Cup of Hockey," Ovechkin said in a statement released Tuesday by the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia. "I am doing my usual volume of work in the gym and on the ice. No idea how rumors about some type of an injury surfaced. I am completely healthy."
Reports surfaced in the Russian media Tuesday that Ovechkin was injured and his status for the World Cup was in doubt. The federation ended those concerns with its statement several hours later.
The Capitals also said Tuesday there was "No truth to this rumor."
Ovechkin scored an NHL-high 50 goals last season, the seventh time he has reached or surpassed 50 goals in 11 NHL seasons. He has 525 goals in 839 games with the Capitals.
He also has a rich history with the Russia national team. He has won a gold medal on four occasions: the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship, and the 2008, 2012 and 2014 World Championship. He has played for Russia three times at the Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014) and scored eight goals in 17 games. In his career with the senior national team, Ovechkin has 42 goals and 73 points in 93 games.
Ovechkin, 30, played in the World Cup of Hockey in 2004. At 19, he was the youngest player in the tournament. He appeared in two games and scored one goal as Russia finished sixth.
The 2016 World Cup will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1. Team Russia is in Group B with Team Finland, Team Sweden and Team North America. Team Russia opens training camp in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 4.
All World Cup games will be televised by ESPN in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.