Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky
suffered a broken finger on his right hand Friday night vs. Vancouver and will be out approximately four weeks.
The injury occurred late in the third period of a 4-3 win over the Canucks at Honda Center when Visnovsky was hit with a shot. Surgery will not be required.
The 35-year-old Visnovsky, who led all NHL defensemen in poinst last year, has one goal and three assists in 16 games this year. He told reporters he is optimistic and hopes to learn more soon about his prognosis.
“It’s good that I don’t need the surgery,” Visnovsky said Saturday. “I got another X-ray tomorrow. Just fix it for 10 days and after that start a little bit of treatment. Maybe after 10 days I will start skating and we will see how tough it is for my finger.”
Following the Ducks practice today at The Rinks Anaheim ICE, head coach Randy Carlyle addressed the club's options to replace Visnovsky's minutes while the veteran recovers. Carlyle identified Luca Sbisa
and Kurtis Foster as players with an opportunity to help fill that role.
“I think we’d like to find more minutes for Sbisa,” Carlyle said. “We’ve been consciously trying to do that in some of these games. I think he was up over 15 now [on average]. Now he’s going to bear some more minutes. I think we’d like to look at Sbisa from a defensive side [for] more of those minutes versus offensive minutes.”
Sbisa has three assists in 16 games this season and will embrace the opportunity presented while his teammate is down
“Obviously it’s not good to see one of our key players go down", said the 21-year old Sbisa. "The other side is there’s a big opportunity and one of us has to take it. I’m more than happy to take over that role.”
Foster, a healthy scratch the last two games, will also be expected to take on a larger role according to Carlyle.
“He hasn’t played that much and now he’s going to an opportunity to play some more", said Carlyle. He’ll definitely see power play time."
Foster, acquired in July 2011 from Edmonton in exchange for defenseman Andy Sutton, has played in only three of 10 games he’s been available for after recovering from surgery on his left thigh on the first weekend of training camp.
"You feel bad for the guy. You feel bad for the team because you know he’s a key individual and a huge part of our team," said Foster.
"But the same point, it creates an opportunity for me. I just got to jump in there, do my best and try to run with it.”