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Knee injury to keep Iginla out at least a week

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
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Feb. 4, 2007 at the Pengrowth Saddledome

A sombre Jarome Iginla broke the news to the assembled media quickly.

A sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, suffered when he was hit along the boards in a game against Florida on Thursday, will sideline the Calgary Flames captain for at least a week.

That means he will miss games against Dallas, Minnesota and Anaheim.

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The Flames leading scorer with 53 points in 39 games, will have the knee re-assessed in a week.

Iginla suffered the injury in the second period when he and Panther defenceman Bryan Allen rubbed up along the boards in the Florida zone. The pair ended up fighting and, when the penalties, expired, Iginla headed to the Flames bench and then right to the trainer's table and did not return to the game.

Many suspected he had injured his hand in the fight but that wasn't the case -- he injured the knee prior to the fight.

"I think when I was trying to get by him, the knee got hit," said Iginla. "I realized it didn't feel right. Lots of times you get hurt and you shake it off."

But, sitting in the penalty box serving his fist major of the season for fighting, Iginla knew he wasn't going to be able to shake it off. Although he left the rink after the game without crutches and apparently walking fine, things didn't get any better overnight.

"It doesn't feel good today," Iginla told reporters after meeting with Flames medical staff on Friday morning.

Iginla said he will not need surgery.

"You try and stay positive when you are injured. Take care of yourself and do what the doctors and the physio people tell you to do and try and get back as soon as possible."

For the next week Iginla will do very little. "Right now, I won't be doing anything," said Iginla, off to one of the best starts of his 10-year career, fifth in NHL scoring at the time of the injury.

Iginla, who scored his 23rd goal of the season to open the scoring against the Panthers, will be missed by the Flames.

"It's tough obviously," said forward Daymond Langkow, Iginla's linemate this season. "He is a big part of this team. It gives other players a chance to play more. As a team we will have to step it up. A guy like that, you can't replace him. But we have had some young guys come up and do a great job for us. That's what we will need more of."

The status of Flames forward Chuck Kobasew, who was knocked out when his head hit the ice after being hit by Allen in the first period, is not clear. However, under concussion protocol, Kobasew could be out for a week. Allen proved to be a one-man wrecking crew on the Flames -- besides injuring Kobasew and Iginla one of his shots hit Langkow in the foot.

"It's just a bruised foot. I will be playing. There are guys with a lot worse injuries than me," said Langkow.

Andrew Ference said the team will just have to batten down the hatches and play solid defence in the absence of Iginla.

"As a collective we are still a good hockey team and we have to compete just like other teams who have lost top players," said Ference.

Iginla is confident the team will persevere.

"We have to win games. Teams go through injuries. It's part of the game. It is a physical game. You just have to find ways to win games."



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