Canucks star Ryan Kesler out indefinitely with broken foot

 

'Any fracture is usually four to six weeks,' says coach Alain Vigneault

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler in action against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. Kesler is out indefinitey with a broken foot, the team announced Wednesday.
 
 

Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler in action against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. Kesler is out indefinitey with a broken foot, the team announced Wednesday.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG

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VANCOUVER — Losers of two straight games and five of their last seven, the Vancouver Canucks lost off the ice Wednesday when it was revealed that centre Ryan Kesler has a fractured right foot and is sidelined until further notice.

Canuck head coach Alain Vigneault was uncertain how long Kesler will be out but told reporters following practice he assumed it would be “for a while.” Kesler missed the first 12 games this season as he recovered from shoulder and wrist surgeries. He played the last seven and had five points, including a nice assist Tuesday on Jason Garrison's goal.

“We don't know how long it is yet and as soon as we find out, we'll share it with you,” Vigneault said. “Any fracture is usually 4-6 weeks depending on the nature of the fracture. Some are less, hairline fractures or whatever. So I haven't gotten any length from our doctors how long this one is going to be.”

Kesler was hurt blocking a shot Feb. 15 against Dallas, his first game back after rehabbing his off-season shoulder and wrist injuries. Two X-rays proved negative so he continued playing. A CT Scan Wednesday morning discovered the fracture. Kesler was later seen at Rogers Arena walking in a boot. He was not made available for comment.

PHOTOS: Ryan Kesler's Canucks career, from teen to supreme

“Obviously Ryan has blocked a few shots since he's been back and that foot had taken two X-rays,” Vigneault explained. “He'd been playing and, other than some discomfort, he was handling it well. He was doing all the off ice work. Yesterday, he came in and told the doctor that he still felt a little discomfort so, just to have piece of mind, they decided to do a CT Scan and obviously we didn't get the results that we anticipated since he'd been playing and doing everything else.”

According to Vigneault, veteran Andrew Ebbett would most likely be recalled from the American League's Chicago Wolves to take Kesler's spot. Ebbett began the season with the team but was a frequent healthy scratch and appeared in just five games. He was dispatched to the Wolves last Tuesday after clearing waivers.

The Canucks have Thursday off and will return to the practice ice Friday. Their next game is Saturday at home against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Vigneault said his lineup for the Kings' game will be much clearer by Friday.

“For one of the few times this year, we have the luxury of having a couple of days to make that decision,” he said. “We're going to find out a little bit more about Ryan and, by Friday's practice, you guys will know exactly what is going on.”

Vigneault noted that shot blocking is part of today's game and that Kesler wasn't hurt on any sort of reckless or unusual play.

“Just like a number of our players, Ryan has blocked several shots,” Vigneault continued. “After games, you see tons of players with ice packs. Ryan is one of those players who has ice packs on him. X-rays were taken at different times and they were negative but the CT Scan gave us another version.”

Rookie Jordan Schroeder took Kesler's spot on the top power-play unit in Wednesday's practice.

Elsewhere, general manager Mike Gillis placed fourth-line winger Aaron Volpatti on waivers Wednesday and, if the Revelstoke native clears by 9 a.m. Thursday, he will be sent to the Wolves. Volpatti has been a healthy scratch in three of the last five games and the Canucks insisted the decision to send him down was based on playing time and not necessarily to create a roster spot for abrasive winger Steve Pinizzotto, who is recovering from a groin injury.

Volpatti, 27, has appeared in 16 games this season. He scored once, had 11 shots on goal and collected 28 penalty minutes. He was averaging 7:18 of ice time, by far the lowest on the Canucks. Last season, Volpatti played just 23 games due to shoulder surgery.

“We would like him to go down and play more, particularly kill penalties,” explained Canuck assistant general manager Laurence Gilman.

Added Vigneault: “If he gets picked up by another team, great for him. But if he doesn't, he'll be able to go to Chicago and play a little bit more and, if we need him down the road, he'll be a good player for us.”

ICE CHIPS: Injured defenceman Kevin Bieksa (groin) did not practise Wednesday and remains out day-to-day. Bieksa has missed the last two games. He was scheduled to skate on his own prior to Friday.

ICE CHIPS: Injured defenceman Kevin Bieksa (groin) did not practise Wednesday and remains out day-to-day. Bieksa has missed the last two games. He was scheduled to skate on his own prior to Friday.

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Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler in action against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. Kesler is out indefinitey with a broken foot, the team announced Wednesday.
 

Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler in action against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. Kesler is out indefinitey with a broken foot, the team announced Wednesday.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG

 
Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler in action against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. Kesler is out indefinitey with a broken foot, the team announced Wednesday.
Vancouver Canucks Ryan Kesler juggles the puck with his stick as he warms up prior to the game against the St. Louis Blues in  NHL action at Rogers Arena February 17, 2013 in Vancouver B.C.
Alexander Edler (23) and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate a goal against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Feb. 21, 2013.
Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin (20) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks Ryan Kesler during third period of NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Feb.15, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver Canucks Ryan Kesler (L) celebrates his power play goal against the St. Louis Blues with  Alex Burrows in NHL action at Rogers Arena February 17, 2013 in Vancouver B.C.
Vancouver Canucks’ Ryan Kesler, left, congratulates Henrik Sedin following his assist during the second period of NHL hockey action against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Feb.15, 2013. Henrik Sedin now leads the franchise scoring record beating former Canuck Markus Naslund.
Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler, left, and St. Louis Blues' T.J. Oshie vie for control of the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday February 17, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler skates by a sign made for Manny Malhotra during a pre-game skate prior to playing the Dallas Stars in NHL action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Feb. 15 2013.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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