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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Alex Ovechkin return to be delayed

ESPN.com news services

Alex Ovechkin's father is recovering from heart surgery in Russia after falling ill during the Olympics.

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee said Thursday that Mikhail Ovechkin became sick following Russia's game against Slovakia on Sunday. McPhee said Mikhail Ovechkin is now stable and out of intensive care.

McPhee said Alex Ovechkin was not told about his father's situation until after Russia was eliminated from the tournament Wednesday.

"It's going to be and is a very difficult time for him," McPhee said. "He went over there to represent his country and did his best to do so. His team fell short. That's going to hurt. When you add the problems his father is having right now, it's a difficult time."

Ovechkin and his father are still in Sochi, McPhee said, and Ovechkin's return to the Capitals will be delayed.

"He called two days ago to say that his father was having some trouble and required surgery and asked for permission to stay," McPhee said. "We said by all means.

"We know when we get him back, he'll give us everything he's got as he always does."

Information from ESPN the Magazine's Craig Custance was used in this report.