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Cole out for at least two weeks with hip injury @NHLdotcom

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Carolina left wing Erik Cole is expected to miss at least two weeks with a hip injury.

The team announced on its Web site Wednesday that Cole could miss up to four weeks after tearing a muscle near his hip.

Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, who is attending the NHL GMs' meeting in Naples, Fla., said he didn't know how Cole was injured. According to newspaper reports Wednesday, the left winger was hurt during warmups before Tuesday's loss to Atlanta.

Rutherford said the Hurricanes are considering their options in replacing Cole either by making a trade or recalling a player from Albany of the AHL. The NHL's trade deadline is Feb. 27.

"We're trying to decide as we speak," Rutherford said. "We were trying to add a player anyway with some experience. But the prices for these players, at this point in time, are really high. So that's what we're trying to decide - do we add a player? Do we decide to call somebody up?"

Cole has 25 goals and 26 assists in 57 games this season. He did not play in the 3-1 loss to the Thrashers.

He missed the Toronto loss on Jan. 30 with a hip pointer, then missed three more after aggravating it in an on-ice collision Feb. 8 against Boston.

The loss to Atlanta dropped the defending Stanley Cup champions to eighth in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the New York Islanders and Toronto.

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