Devils star nursing 'jammed wrist'

Updated: September 10, 2004, 3:44 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Martin Brodeur has a sore wrist but hopes to play for Canada on Saturday against the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals.

Martin Brodeur
New Jersey Devils
75 38 26 11 .917 2.03

"I'll be able to play with pain, that's no big deal," Brodeur, his left hand bandaged, said after practice Friday. "But if I feel I can't play at the top level, then we have two guys who can do the job."

The New Jersey Devils had an MRI on Thursday night that came back negative. The wrist felt much better Friday, allowing him to work out for half the practice before leaving the ice. Canadian skaters were careful not to shoot for his glove.

"I'm going to wait and see tomorrow morning," Brodeur said. "Everything structurally is fine, and today was a good test to out there at practice."

Brodeur was hurt on a long shot from center ice with three minutes left in Wednesday's 5-0 quarterfinal win over Slovakia. He skipped Thursday's optional practice, as did many other veterans.

"We're not in any kind of a panic situation here," Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky said. "We still feel that Marty will probably be OK for tomorrow."

If not, Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers most likely will start, with Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens the backup.

"I fully expect that Marty will be ready," Canada coach Pat Quinn said after practice Friday. "Marty has a jammed wrist, but it's improving. If it keeps improving like it has today, then he should be fine. But it'll be a game-time decision."

Defenseman Wade Redden also had his first full practice Friday since injuring his left shoulder Sept. 1. Quinn would not say whether Redden will play Saturday.

The Czechs have their own worries. Star wing Jaromir Jagr is fighting an abdominal injury and will also be a game-time decision.

"Hopefully, I'll be OK," he said. "I want to go for sure. But I've got 30 hours to work on it and hopefully it will get better."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press