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Czech star nursing hip injury

9/9/2004

TORONTO -- Jaromir Jagr sat out practice Thursday but hopes
to be ready when the Czech Republic plays Canada in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals.

Jagr wants to work out Friday before deciding if he can play in
Saturday's semifinal at Air Canada Centre.

"We hope he can play," coach Vladimir Ruzicka said. "If not, we'll use Radek Dvorak."

Jagr hurt his hip in the team's tournament opener against
Finland but has played despite the injury. He has one goal and one
assist in four games.

"We don't want to say that if doesn't play, we're going to play
bad," forward Martin Rucinsky said. "Sure, he's one of the best
players in the world. You need him, but if he's not there, we still
have a good group of guys and we'll stick together. In a
tournament, it's about how you play as a group and I think we can
go further even without Jagr."

The Czechs arrived Wednesday after their 6-1 upset of Sweden in
the quarterfinals. The team did not score a goal in its first five
periods of the tournament but has 16 goals in seven periods since.

"We have momentum now, but we have to be smart about it because
we're playing such a great team and they're at home," Rucinsky said.