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Training Camp

Panthers say Aaron Ekblad injury is minor

Florida president Dale Tallon on defenseman: 'I'm sure he'll be fine'

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad did not take the ice Friday for the first practice of training camp, but president of hockey operations Dale Tallon said Ekblad's injury was not considered serious.

Tallon said he had no update on Ekblad before adding, "I'm sure he'll be fine."

Ekblad was injured in the World Cup of Hockey 2016 during Team North America's first game on Sunday, against Team Finland.

Initial reports said Ekblad sustained a concussion, but Sportsnet reported Tuesday he has a neck injury.

"Not overly concerned about it," Panthers general manager Tom Rowe said Tuesday of Ekblad, who had two concussions in the past 25 months. "A little bad luck. I think he's still probably getting used to the [NHL] a little bit. He probably needs to be a little more aware in certain situations, but I don't think we're overly concerned about it.

"There's doctors [in Toronto], but we'd rather him come back here and see our docs."

Ekblad, 20, signed an eight-year contract extension reportedly worth $60 million (average annual value $7.5 million) that begins next season.

Ekblad was one of four Panthers who competed in the World Cup and missed the first practice (forwards Aleksander Barkov, Jussi Jokinen, Vincent Trocheck).

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