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William Nylander injury update: does he have a concussion?

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

It's been five days since William Nylander was taken out of the World Juniors after taking a blindside hit in Sweden's first game. Team Sweden has remained cautiously optimistic that Nylander will return at some point in the tournament. He was on the bike yesterday, but still hasn't skated since the hit.

He was scheduled to speak at a press conference today but the team cancelled it at the last minute. In an interview with TSN (autoplay), Sweden's team doctor, Adolf Bergsten, said that they wanted to keep him away from the bright interview lights and keep him from thinking too hard (actually). The lights are the important part of that statement, I think. It seems to confirm what we all suspected (and feared): that Nylander has a concussion.

Bergsten was clear in saying that it was Team Sweden's choice to cancel it, something that's directly contradicted by an Expressen report. The report says that Lou called it off at the last minute, not the Swedes.

The report raises the question: what was the purpose of the press conference? Was it just to let reporters talk to Nylander? Or did they intend to announce something--like, for example, that Nylander would play against Canada today? All of this is completely speculative, of course. I'm not sure we have enough information to read too much into this cancelled press conference at this point.

The good news in all this: Nylander still isn't playing. The Leafs have been pretty heavily involved in all of this, beyond Lou's involvement today. Mark Hunter is in Finland, presumably scouting. They've also been in daily contact with the Leafs medical team, according to the National Post (autoplay). If this were the Nonis/Carlyle Leafs, I'd be pretty worried but this new regime is treating injuries much more seriously.

Sweden and the Leaf's priorities may clash a bit: Sweden obviously wants Nylander back on the ice as soon as possible while the Leafs are probably more interested in being more patient. If they do end up clashing, it seems that this cancelled press conference means that the Leafs have the final say.

While that's disappointing for all of us who wanted to see Nylander dominate at the World Juniors, it's good that the Leafs and Sweden are being cautious.


Sounds ominous.