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Mikelis Redlihs joins up with national hockey team; will be ready to play on Thursday

Mikelis Redlihs. Photo: dinamoriga.eu.
 RIGA, Feb 5 - On Tuesday, one of Latvia's potential leaders - forward Mikelis Redlihs (Yaroslavl ''Lokomotiv'', Russia), joined up with the national men's ice hockey team, the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation reports.

Redlihs' participation in this week's Olympic qualification tournament was in doubt after he suffered a head injury playing for his club in the Kontinental Ice Hockey League. However, doctors have cleared the forward, and he is ready to prepare together with the team.

The Latvian squad is now full-strength, and will feature basically all of its top players currently playing in European leagues.

Latvia's NHL players Kaspars Daugavins (Ottawa ''Senators'') and Zemgus Girgensons (Buffalo ''Sabres'') will not participate in the qualification tournament, while Riga ''Dinamo'' forward Raitis Ivanans and defenseman Guntis Galvins have been left off the roster.

Furthermore, defender Sandis Ozolins (Mytischi ''Atlant'', Russia) and forward Aleksandrs Nizivijs (Prague ''Lev'', Czech Republic) have agreed to come out of retirement from the national team for the tournament.

As reported, Latvia will play in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics qualification tournament at "Arena Riga" February 7-10, where it will take on France, Kazakhstan and Great Britain. Only the winner will qualify for the Games.

Latvia will kick off the tournament on Thursday night against Great Britain.
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