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Nash recovering from severe throat infection

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- NHL goals leader Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets will not play for Canada at the hockey world championships after having minor surgery for a severe throat infection.

The 19-year-old left wing was expected to make his debut for the Canadian national team. He helped Canada win a silver medal at the 2002 world junior championship.

The world championships begin Saturday in the Czech Republic and end May 9.

"I was really looking forward to playing in the tournament," Nash said in a statement released Thursday by the Blue Jackets and Hockey Canada. "I want to wish my teammates all the best and hopefully they will be able to win the gold medal for Canada."

Nash scored 41 goals this season, tying Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk and Calgary's Jarome Iginla for the NHL lead.