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Tavares of Maple Leafs to miss World Championship with oblique injury

Will not play for Canada in tournament, to be evaluated in Toronto @NHLdotcom

John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs has an oblique injury and will not play for Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

The center will return to Toronto for evaluation by the Maple Leafs medical staff.

"We are disappointed that John will not be able to participate as a member of Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, but after contacting the Toronto Maple Leafs we agreed it was best for him to return home for further evaluation," said Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, a member of Canada's management group. "We know John was excited about the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf once again and we were excited to have John as a member of our team and to welcome his many years of NHL and international experience."

Canada plays its first game of the preliminary round against Finland at Steel Arena in Kosice on Friday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN), the first day of the tournament. The event runs through May 26.

Tavares had five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games against the Boston Bruins in the Maple Leafs' loss in the Eastern Conference First Round. He set personal NHL highs with 47 goals and 88 points in 82 regular-season games.

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