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Hockey: Russia's Coach Admits Datsyuk Replacement Possible

18:47 09.02.2014 (Last updated 20:05 10.02.2014)

Zinetula Bilyaletdinov | Olympic Games 2014 | Russia | Pavel Datsyuk
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  • Pavel Datsyuk

  © REUTERS / Rebecca Cook

SOCHI, February 9 (R-Sport) – Russia men's hockey team coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov admitted Sunday team captain Pavel Datsyuk may miss the Sochi Olympics if not fully fit.

The Detroit Red Wings star's shape is in doubt as he returned to the ice only on Friday after missing over a month with a groin injury.

Datsyuk should arrive in Sochi on Monday. Changes into the roster may be made until Wednesday, when the Olympic hockey tournament starts.

“When Datsyuk arrives, we will talk and make a decision,” Bilyaletdinov said. “Tomorrow is only the 10th and everything is possible."

Russia's roster has already been altered twice as Dynamo Moscow injured forwards Sergei Soin and Denis Kokarev were replaced with Carolina Hurricanes wing Alexander Semin and Ak Bars Kazan center Alexander Svitov.

The Sochi Olympic tournament may be the fourth Games for the 35-year-old Datsyuk, who won bronze at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

The center has been playing for the national team since 2001, and won world championship gold in 2012. So far this season, he has 15 goals and 18 assists in 37 NHL games.

Russia's opening game at the Bolshoy Ice Dome is against Slovenia on Thursday.

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See also: Zinetula Bilyaletdinov

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