Team USA coach Ron Wilson suggested on Friday that Devils defenseman Paul Martin may be a longshot for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, according to The Star-Ledger in New Jersey.
Martin was named to Team USA but he has played just nine games for the Devils this season and has been out since suffering a fractured left forearm Oct. 24 in Pittsburgh. He will miss his 44th straight game Friday night.
"He has to play a number of games. Same as Mike Komisarek," Wilson said to the Star-Ledger. "If he only plays one or two games, it wouldn't be fair to Paul Martin and, probably more likely, to the New Jersey Devils as well. If he's not ready to play, this is a huge event. It's not an exhibition tour.
"If he is ready, that's even better for us. But let's wait until the doctors decide what's going on. I mean he's had his arm in a cast for three months, so I don't know how you can get yourself ready in two weeks. But if he can, that's great."
Six weeks ago, Martin thought he was close to returning to the ice. Then an exam showed his bone had not healed properly and he required surgery, which set back his recovery. Martin is still holding out hope to play in Vancouver yet he knows the time will be tight.
"I'm optimistic. I have faith," Martin told The New York Post Thursday. "I know it's not going to be easy. All I ask is a chance. Just let me try."
He has been doing off-ice workouts and will see a doctor next week to determine whether he is cleared to skate. He said he would like to play a game or two for New Jersey before the Olympics, but doesn't know if he will be able to be ready in time.
Komisarek, the Maple Leafs' defenseman, hasn't played since Jan. 2 because of a shoulder injury.