COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Columbus Blue Jackets forward Sergei Fedorov will not play for Russia in the Turin Olympics

Fedorov, a six-time NHL All-Star who turned 36 on Tuesday, said he needed the time to recuperate from a nagging injury and to adapt to his new team.

“I don’t think it is appropriate to delay my decision about the Olympics any further,” Fedorov said in a statement released through IMG, which handles his business affairs. “As much as I would enjoy representing my country in Italy, I’m afraid that at this point in the season my focus has to remain with the Columbus Blue Jackets.” Fedorov joined the Blue Jackets in a Nov. 15 trade with Anaheim.

The NHL’s Olympic break is Feb. 13-27.

Heading into Tuesday night’s game against Philadelphia, the native of Pskov, Russia, has one goal and five assists in 16 games while recovering from a groin injury that has plagued him all season.

“I feel that the most important thing is for me to continue to work towards being 100 percent healthy,” Fedorov said. “My main priority and responsibility is to the Columbus Blue Jackets and I don’t believe participating in the Olympics, which is a short, intense tournament, would be the best thing to do.”

AP-ES-12-13-05 2031EST

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