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World Cup

David Krejci still hoping to play in World Cup

Bruins center, named to Team Czech Republic, not 100 percent after hip surgery in April

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center David Krejci is still holding out hope he can play for Team Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Krejci had surgery on his left hip April 25 and the prognosis was for a five-month recovery period. He began doing light on-ice drills two weeks ago and skated for 15 minutes with a handful of teammates at Warrior Ice Arena in the Brighton neighborhood Monday. But his perspective about his chances of playing for his country next month has changed since the start of the offseason.

The World Cup of Hockey begins Sept. 17. All games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

"If you asked me a long time ago, then yes," Krejci said of playing in the World Cup. "But right now I just want to get to 100 percent. And if I'll be ready, then that would be awesome. But if not, you have to do what you have to do to be 100 percent."

Krejci didn't want to put a number value on his health at this point. But he's looking forward to ramping up his workouts and doing skill drills and power skating during the next few weeks. He has to strike a balance between trying to be ready to play for Team Czech Republic and looking forward to what he hopes will be a productive season with the Bruins.

Video: Krejci, Krug among Bruins at first captain's practice

Krejci has been hampered off and on by the hip injury since a preseason game in 2014. He had 17 goals and 63 points in 72 games last season.

"I'm looking at it as I want to be 100 percent," he said. "If I'm 100 percent, then obviously I want to play. You don't want to be sitting on the sidelines when you're 100 percent and you know you could be there. This is a pretty big tournament and I would love to be a part of it. But at the same time, if I'm not 100 percent then I'm not going to feel bad. I just want to get 100 percent and play my best hockey."

Krejci, who represented his homeland in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2005 World Junior Championship, has been keeping in touch with Team Czech Republic management.

"I'm in contact with the national team coach [Josef Jandac] and we talk pretty much every week," he said. "They're asking about my updates, so we kind of know what's going on. I'm sure they have some backup plan if that's not going to work out, so we'll see what happens."

Krejci was unsure if there was a cutoff date for a decision on whether he can play in the World Cup. His focus is on his recovery and maybe getting the chance to represent his nation again if everything works out.

"Another day closer. I've done some more stuff today and I'm already on the ice, so kind of getting there," he said. "But obviously this injury takes time. But I like where I'm at right now. Every day is a step closer, and I'm excited for tomorrow."

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