Cody Hodgson will not be attending Canada's World Junior Selection Camp.
The Markham, Ontario native is still dealing with a back injury that he suffered while training last summer. He hasn't played since being sent back to the Brampton Battalion of the OHL by the Vancouver Canucks in September.
Hodgson was named to the camp roster last week, and he had hoped his condition would improve enough to allow him to attend, but it has not.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis discussed Hodgson's status on Tuesday on the TEAM 1040 radio station in Vancouver.
"I think that people are perhaps reading a little bit too much into Cody's decision not to play in that tournament," said Gillis. "There are a variety of reasons for that, one is the competitive reason, the conditioning reason, and another is that he's been progressing along with his back injury.
"There's a number of factors that are going into it and it isn't just the fact that he suffered a back injury in the summer that's stopping him," Gillis told the TEAM. "There's been very conservative care and it's a decision about game-readiness - probably more so than the back issue. He's waited this long and doesn't feel that comfortable in getting into that level of competition right off the bat without adequate preparation."
Gillis said that Hodgson is not being rushed back to action.
"We haven't put a timeline on (Hodgson's return) and neither have the doctors. He's been progressing very well, he's been skating for close to a month, he's been in full-contact practices, so he's been moving along very well," said Gillis. "With an injury like this, he's a young guy, I don't think it's fair to put any sort of timeline like three, four, or two weeks on it. I think it's just a matter of being absolutely 100%, with absolutely no issues, and then he'll play."
The 19-year-old centre informed Hockey Canada on Monday of his decision not to play, and although Hodgson will not be attending the camp that begins on Saturday, there are no plans to add another player to replace him.