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Any Rangers comeback will be without injured Avery

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) -Rangers forward Sean Avery remained in an intensive care unit Thursday, two days after his spleen was lacerated during a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"He won't be removed from there until it stops bleeding, and it hasn't," team spokesman John Rosasco said Thursday after the Rangers held their morning skate before Game 4.

Avery spent Wednesday in the hospital after his injury ended his season. He is expected to be hospitalized for at least a few days. A CT scan revealed the lacerated spleen, which didn't require surgery. Rosasco said Avery is expected to make a full recovery.

"He was never in a life-threatening situation," Rosasco said.

Some teammates went to see Avery on Wednesday, and coach Tom Renney hoped to visit on his way to Madison Square Garden. The Rangers trail the Penguins 3-0 in the best-of-seven, second-round series.

Avery was injured during Tuesday night's 5-3 loss from a hit, possibly in the first period, but played despite worsening pain.

He took seven shifts in the first period, five in the second, and seven in the third. He spent 4 minutes, 58 seconds on the ice in the final frame.

Rosasco said Avery was evaluated at the arena, then rode in a car with team physician Dr. Andrew Feldman to St. Vincent's Medical Center and walked in shortly after the game.

The spleen, about the size of a fist, is on the left side of the body, behind the stomach. It helps the body fight infection and filter blood. A person can live without a spleen but loses some ability to combat infection.

Avery's mother, Marlene, told the Toronto Sun that her son's spleen had not ruptured, but he had internal bleeding. Hospital spokesman Michael Fagan said Avery was in stable condition.

The Rangers, who are trying to extend their season, also learned Thursday that Blair Betts also will be sidelined. The center was diagnosed with broken orbital bone around his left eye and is expected to have surgery this weekend.

Betts was injured while blocking a shot in the second period Tuesday night. Fellow center Chris Drury skated Thursday and will be a game-time decision. He played through a torso injury to his torso that made it difficult for him to even raise his arms during the second half of Game 3.

"He feels quite good," Renney said. "He'll dress in the warmup. It's looking good."

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