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Jagr in Czech Republic, seeking treatment for knee injury

45-year-old forward hopes to skate for Kladno in playoffs after being reassigned by Flames

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Jaromir Jagr is seeing a physiotherapist in the Czech Republic about the knee injury that prevented him from playing for the Calgary Flames for the past month.

Jagr, who said the injury has been affecting him for the past two months, was reassigned to Kladno, his hometown team in the Czech Republic, by the Flames on Monday after clearing NHL waivers, likely ending his NHL career.

Jagr, had seven points (one goal, six assists) in 22 games with the Flames after signing as an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 4. He has 1,921 points (766 goals, 1,155 assists) in 1,733 NHL games.

The 45-year-old announced Wednesday on his Facebook page that he would see Dr. Pavel Kolar to determine when he can start playing for Kladno, which he co-owns.

"The most important thing for me now is to find out where I am in terms of my injury, what's going to be my treatment and how long it's going to take," Jagr said. "After that I'll decide [on playing]."

Jagr said in the post that he has water on his knee and has experienced weakness in the muscles around the joint. The injury has not responded to treatment.

"But as games went on, it just got worse," Jagr said. "The problem is also that when I bend the knee in a certain angle, it always weakens, the muscle just switches off. [This] is especially bad for me because my game has been based on physical play and one-on-one battles."

Kladno plays in the second division of professional hockey in Czech Republic. Jagr signed a contract to be eligible for the playoffs; the league's trade deadline is Wednesday.

To tamp down hysteria about his return, which has seen an increase in ticket sales for the remainder of Kladno's games, home and away, Jagr said he does not know how much he will play.

"The frenzy that has been going on here, I haven't expected that," he said. "And I want to thank everyone for their interest. But I want to let people who might already have bought the tickets know about my next steps."

Jagr needs to dress up for Kladno on Saturday because he wants to play later in the relegation-promotion round between the first and second Czech divisions (where two winners of the second division playoffs meet with the last two teams of the first division standings). In order to be eligible to play in that stage, he needs to play at least 15 games for Kladno before that (regular season plus playoffs). Kladno has seven games left in the regular season and needs to win two best-of-seven series of the playoffs to advance to the promotion round.

Jagr said he believes he will be ready for the postseason but may not play much down the stretch in the regular season. He said he might only play a couple of shifts in each game.

"I haven't been on the ice for about a month, except for some easy skating, and I can't say what shape I'm in right now," Jagr said. "And I don't want the fans to buy tickets to just see some old grandpa hobble on the ice."

Jagr will hold a press conference in Kladno on Thursday.

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