Alex Ovechkin says his broken left foot is healing well after playing almost three full games on it last month.
The Washington Capitals’ captain, who won his third Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP, sustained a hairline fracture in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the New York Rangers. He did not miss any time, playing in Game 7 the next night and then at the world championship days later.
"Right now, I’m walking fine," Ovechkin said during a conference call Sunday. "I’m going to start playing tennis soon so I’m going to be in good shape. … It’s kind of getting better. I feel pretty good about my foot."
Ovechkin said the puck broke his foot when he blocked a shot and he never spoke with the team’s trainer or doctor about setting up an MRI.
"I just played the game because it’s the playoffs," he said. "It doesn’t matter what happen. You have to be there and you have to play the best that you can."
But the 27-year-old right wing said he knew something was wrong. He waited until after playing for Russia in Stockholm to have an MRI.
Ovechkin played all 48 regular-season and seven playoff games for Washington, even though general manager George McPhee said he was playing through other injuries. He did not elaborate but said they were not serious.
The broken foot was never considered something that would keep him off the ice during training camp.
"I’m never going to say I’m not going to play," Ovechkin said. "It’s not my style."