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TORONTO (AP) — Maple Leafs center John Tavares injured his side while practicing with the Canadian team and will miss the upcoming world championships in Slovakia.
Hockey Canada said Thursday it contacted the Maple Leafs and it was agreed it was best for him to return to Toronto for further evaluation of his oblique.
Such injuries usually require at least a few weeks of recovery. It wasn't immediately clear how the 28-year-old star was hurt.
The news on Tavares came shortly before the Maple Leafs said defenseman Travis Dermott will have shoulder surgery and miss at least six months. He won't be available until mid-November at the earliest.
Dermott had four goals and 13 assists in 64 games this season, plus a goal and two assists in seven playoff games.
Tavares was one of the few stars on Canada's roster. He had a career-high 47 goals with 41 assists in 82 games during the regular season. He added two goals and three assists in the playoffs.
Tavares has played on three previous world championship teams. He was on Canada's championship team at the 2014 Olympics, where he injured his left knee and missed the rest of that NHL season.
Canada opens world championship play against Finland on Friday.
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