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Jets announce injured defenceman Mark Stuart is out until February

NHL.com @NHL

WINNIPEG - Mark Stuart has joined the Winnipeg Jets' growing list of injured defencemen.

Head coach Paul Maurice announced after Thursday's practice that Stuart has a lower-body injury that will keep him out of the lineup until February.

Maurice said Stuart's injury occurred during a fight with Buffalo winger Nicolas Deslauriers late in Winnipeg's 5-1 victory over the Sabres on Tuesday.

Stuart joins injured defencemen Jacob Trouba, Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom.

Trouba went out of the lineup earlier this week with an undisclosed "pre-existing condition" that will keep him off the ice until February.

Enstrom (lower body) could be back skating in early January, while Bogosian (lower body) may start skating in mid-January, Maurice said.

"Clearly, it wasn't the news we needed to hear," Maurice said. "We don't have a lot of defencemen to spare at this point.

"It's the same line I gave two, three days ago ? this is our adversity. This is what we have to deal with. Every team will have their stretch.

"I haven't been in a situation where I've seen that number of guys that play at that level of your depth chart (out) for such an extended period of time. You can get into runs where you've got one or two of your top four out but two or three games. But this is quite a bit more significant."

Defenceman Julien Brouilette was called up from the AHL St. John's IceCaps on Dec. 4 and will be in the lineup when the Jets host the Boston Bruins on Friday.

Forward Evander Kane didn't skate at practice, but Maurice said he'll be fine for the game.

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