Henrik Lundqvist managing soreness, says it won't affect play

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Team Sweden's No. 1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was on the ice for the team's first official World Cup of Hockey practice Monday at Scandinavium.

Only days before training camp opened for Team Sweden, there was a report that Lundqvist had suffered an injury and was questionable for the World Cup. After practice, he admitted to being sore since he took a puck in the ribs last week but said it will not affect his play.

"It's nothing serious," Lundqvist said. "I'll probably feel some pain for a while, but it's nothing that really bothers me the way I move. I feel it, but it doesn't bother me when I'm reaching for pucks or anything, so that's the good part."

Injuries have forced numerous players to drop out before the tournament even begins. Team Sweden has already lost captain Henrik Zetterberg, goalie Robin Lehner, defenseman Niklas Kronwall and forward Alexander Steen.

Asked about all the players backing out of the tournament due to injuries, Lundqvist said it's unavoidable.

"It always happens," he said. "It doesn't matter if it's World Cup or the start of the NHL season. This is a tough sport, and people think you just snap your fingers and you're ready to play. No, that's not how it works. You put a lot of pressure on your body physically and mentally, and injuries are a part of it.

"If you can't be there giving it your all, I think it's better not to play. You've got to be honest with yourself, but injuries are always going to happen. It's a physical sport."
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