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UPDATE, 10/20/09: Lucic has surgery on broken finger, out 4-6 weeks.
Boston Bruins left-winger Milan Lucic missed Saturday night’s 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes with what is believed to be a broken right index finger. His return to the bench is uncertain, but he is not expected to miss a significant amount of playing time.
Lucic, who signed a three-year contract extension at the beginning of this season, sustained the injury during the second period of Friday night’s 3-0 victory over the Stars in Dallas when he landed a hit on Stephane Robidas. The left-wing returned to Boston immediately following the game in order to receive a full evaluation from the Bruins team of doctors.
“Right now, the severity of it, we’re not 100 percent sure,’’ head coach Claude Julien said to reporters. “We’ll evaluate it with our own doctors once we get home. We’ll probably have more news by the beginning of the week.’’
The Bruins recalled Guillaume Lefebvre from the Providence Bruins to take Lucic’s roster slot for the game. He skated on the fourth line with Steve Bégin and Shawn Thornton, recording two hits in just over 11 minutes of playing time.
Fortunately for Boston, their next game isn’t until Wednesday, giving Lucic time to get a full prognosis and, hopefully, heal quickly. The injury could not come at a worse time, however, as the team is struggling and too inconsistent. Julien recently began mixing up the lines, moving Lucic from his normal first line slot to the second line, for example, but with a key component of the team missing, it will be nearly impossible for Julien to find the right line combination.
UPDATE: Lucic has been placed on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR), meaning that he will be unable to play for at least ten games and 24 calendar days.