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Oilers' Hemsky sent home with ankle injury

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky was sent back to Edmonton on Thursday as the Oilers prepared to play the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

The game against the Wild is Edmonton's third of a four-game road trip, meaning he also will miss the team's game Saturday at the Winnipeg Jets. His status beyond that is unknown.

Hemsky was hit in the ankle by a shot off the stick of teammate Luke Gazdic during the second period of the Oilers' game Tuesday at the Dallas Stars.

Initial reports issued by the team said there was no fracture in the ankle, but Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said Thursday the team was being cautious in confirming that diagnosis.

"That X-ray shows no break, but sometimes there's a micro-fracture or something else going on in there," Eakins said. "The swelling was large. It was obvious he wasn't going to be able to play so there is no use in keeping him here. We'll send him back and have them run some of those different scans on it to make sure all is well."

Eakins also said defenseman Corey Potter has recovered from a groin injury and is available Thursday against the Wild.

For Minnesota, forward Zach Parise, who has missed 11 games with a fractured foot after being hit there with a puck, joined his teammates for the morning skate Thursday. Parise said he's progressing nicely from the injury and working to get back in the lineup "in a smart and safe way." He also put in work with his personal skating coach prior to the morning skate Thursday.

Depending on how things go at the team's practice Friday, Parise may be able to rejoin the Wild's lineup as soon as their game Saturday against the Dallas Stars.

Here are the projected lineups for the Oilers and Wild on Thursday:


Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Sam Gagner

Nail Yakupov - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle

David Perron - Boyd Gordon - Matt Hendricks

Luke Gazdic - Ryan Smyth - Ryan Jones

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Nick Schultz - Anton Belov

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Ben Scrivens

Ilya Bryzgalov

Scratched: Jesse Joensuu, Corey Potter

Injured: Philip Larsen (illness)


Nino Niederreiter - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Charlie Coyle - Dany Heatley

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine

Stephane Veilleux - Erik Haula - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Nate Prosser

Keith Ballard - Clayton Stoner

Darcy Kuemper

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Mike Rupp, Jonathon Blum

Injured: Zach Parise (fractured left foot), Mikko Koivu (fractured ankle), Jared Spurgeon (foot), Josh Harding (illness)

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