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Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf out 4 to 6 weeks

Star center Ryan Getzlaf, who suffered nasal sinus fractures after taking a puck to the face Dec. 28, likely won't be back with the Ducks until after the All-Star break. He says the injury was 'scary': 'It was definitely the hardest I've been hit.'

January 06, 2011|By Robyn Norwood, Special to the Los Angeles Times

The Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf is likely to be out until after the Jan. 30 All-Star game, a four- to six-week recovery that is a relief for the star center after taking a puck to the forehead Dec. 28.

"It was pretty scary for the first few days," Getzlaf said Wednesday morning, standing outside the Ducks' locker room at the Honda Center with jagged stitches low on his forehead. "After the first CT scan, they weren't exactly sure what was wrong. There were a lot of different fractures and stuff going on up there."

A more thorough scan Tuesday confirmed surgery would not be required for the nasal sinus fractures caused when Getzlaf was hit by a deflected shot in a game at Phoenix.

"It was what we wanted to hear," he said. "There are some fractures up there that definitely need to be healed, but they're nowhere near my eyes or my brain."

The injury has led Getzlaf to consider wearing a shield. He has long resisted wearing one of the protective visors that have become more and more commonplace in the NHL.

"With a scare like this, you definitely reconsider and look at the options. I'll be trying different things," said Getzlaf, who has played with a shield when required in such competitions as the Olympics but admitted he didn't always wear it properly.

"It is a situation where, most of the time, I can argue a shield wouldn't have helped. I think in that situation, when it hits you square like that, it definitely would have deflected that off," he said.

The moments after he was hit by a Phoenix shot that deflected off teammate Cam Fowler's stick were "a scary time," Getzlaf said.

"It was definitely the hardest I've been hit with a puck because it hit me so square," he said. "It kind of ricocheted off and I didn't have a chance to move my face to the side a little bit.

"Obviously I knew it wasn't in my eye. Not everybody else knew. But it was a scary time because I kind of got a little dazed and didn't know what was going on. I just knew I had to get off the ice because I was bleeding."

Getzlaf said doctors advised limiting activity for about two weeks before another CT scan. Even the exercise bike is out for now, because a rise in blood pressure could affect the healing process, he was told.

The Ducks' final game before the All-Star break is at Columbus on Jan. 25, four weeks after the injury, followed by a weeklong break, making a more likely return Feb. 2 against San Jose at the Honda Center at the five-week mark.

"January's a big month to push. I said if it's going to happen any time, January's kind of a bad month for it to happen when it's such an important month for our group," Getzlaf said, saying it was a "relief" to see his teammates win three in a row after his injury.

"It's nice to see our guys were able to rally."

Etc.

Maxim Lapierre, acquired Friday from Montreal, centered the third line in his debut Wednesday against Nashville. … Winger Jason Blake did not play because of a shoulder injury and is day to day. … Ducks players will compete in the 2011 Skills Showdown in categories such as fastest skater and hardest shot Saturday at the Honda Center. Admission to the event is $10, free to season-ticket holders. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. for the competition approximately 30 minutes later.

sports@latimes.com

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