January 02, 2012
CALGARY -- For anyone who has seen Slovakian star Tomas Jurco in the past, you knew right away that something wasn't right. The slick skating wasn't there and he looked like he was just going through the motions in their eventual 8-5 loss to Finland in their world junior quarterfinals.
After the game, Jurco confirmed his injury to Yahoo! Sports.
"In the first shift I got injured," said the second round pick of the Detroit Red Wings. "I pulled my hip flexor, so I wasn't sure if I was going to come back to the game but I wanted to help the guys."
Jurco (photo) was so adamant about trying to help his native Slovakia advance to the semis that he ended up taking a regular shift and playing through the pain.
"I was supposed to come out just for power plays on the ice, but it felt a little bit better so I tried," said the 19-year-old. "I wanted to help my team to win, but I think as you saw I wasn't skating hard because it really hurt. I tried. I did everything I could and I'm really disappointed that it happened in a game like that."
Slovakia will move on to play the loser of the second quarterfinal match between Russia and the Czech Republic. When asked whether he would continue to play at the tournament, Jurco -- who plays for the QMJHL powerhouse Saint John Sea Dogs -- did not sound optimistic.
"I don't know, I might not," said the forward who won a Memorial Cup with the Sea Dogs last year. "Once it gets really bad it takes lots of time to recover, so..."