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Drouin to Miss 3-4 Weeks with Slight Thumb Fracture

by Bryan Burns / Tampa Bay Lightning

Highly-touted prospect Jonathan Drouin is out three to four weeks after X-rays Monday discovered a slight fracture of the thumb on his right hand.

The injury occurred Thursday after a collision in the corner during two-on-two work at rookie camp practice.

"It wasn't a big hit or anything," Drouin said. "I just lost balance and fell on my hand."

The 19-year-old Drouin skated Friday on the opening day of Lightning training camp but alerted the medical staff of the injury after practice.

"I felt really good on and off the ice when I showed up in camp," Drouin said. "To miss the first part of training camp and preseason, it's disappointing."

Drouin's injury will likely keep him out of the entire preseason and part of the regular season, which starts October 9 versus Florida at Amalie Arena.

"We've seen a kid in much better shape [this summer], a more committed kid who understood what he was up against this time around," associate coach Rick Bowness said following Tuesday's morning skate. "So, he was much better prepared going into this training camp, physically and mentally…It's very disappointing for the kid and disappointing for us because we saw the improvements in him, and we wanted to see how that transformed out on the ice."

Drouin, who was named the league's top prospect by NHL.com during the offseason, said he has been skating on his own every morning since the injury occurred and that he has been moving his thumb better each day.

"It's been improving since the first day it happened," he said.

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