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NHL Heritage Classic

Appleton breaks foot before Jets practice at Heritage Classic

Forward is injured during football catch with teammates at Mosaic Stadium, out at least four weeks

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Senior Director of Editorial

REGINA, Saskatchewan -- Mason Appleton will miss at least four weeks for the Winnipeg Jets after breaking a bone in his right foot before practice Friday.

The forward was injured while throwing a football around with teammates in the end zone of Mosaic Stadium as they waited to practice in preparation for the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic against the Calgary Flames on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN1, CITY, TVAS, NHL.TV). The Jets do not believe Appleton will require surgery, coach Paul Maurice said.

Appleton played in Winnipeg's first nine games this season but was a healthy scratch the past two. He does not have a point and is averaging 10:21 of ice time.

The 23-year-old played 36 games for the Jets last season, his first in the NHL, and had 10 points (three goals, seven assists).

Maurice said he felt bad for Appleton.

"When you think about the time a man like that would have put in trying to make this team and try to grab a spot, the amount of commitment he would have put in and, as I have said, his numbers are outstanding to get here and to get that opportunity," Maurice said.

Video: Mosaic Stadium ready for 2019 NHL Heritage Classic

Mosaic Stadium is the home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, and several of the Jets players were using the north end zone, not covered by the ice rink layout, to have a catch. Others were playing soccer, which is part of many players' routine before practice.

"It's one of those things," Maurice said. "They play soccer before the games, play basketball and do all kinds of stuff. They are having fun out there.

"It's tough for him. We feel for him. In a week's time, he is going to get verbally abused horribly for what happened and how it happened, but right now, you just feel horrible."

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