TORONTO (AP) - Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek will miss the rest of the NHL season and will not play for the U.S. Olympic team because of shoulder surgery.
The decision to operate in Alabama next week comes after weeks of rehabilitation. Komisarek has been sidelined since Jan. 2 and resumed skating within a week of the injury.
"It's definitely tough news when you find out you're not going to be playing hockey for four to six months," Komisarek said while teammates practicd Thursday. "It's been a tough little while here, the last couple of weeks, trying to figure out one way or the other whether surgery is going to be needed."
His absence is another blow to the U.S. Olympic team. New Jersey Devils defenseman Paul Martin will miss the Vancouver Games because of a broken forearm.
"Having a chance to represent your country in the Olympics is a huge honor, and you want to be a part of that," Komisarek said. "But I knew that it wouldn't be fair to go and play in the Olympics and have to shut my season down after I come back from Vancouver and miss the rest of the year."
The 28-year-old Komisarek signed with the Maple Leafs last summer and had four assists in 34 games. He was out for a handful of games with a leg injury earlier this season after missing more than a dozen games with another upper body injury last season in Montreal.