Ethan Moreau is as durable as they come in the hockey rink, but the sprained right ankle he suffered on a basketball court in Phoenix will keep the hard-nosed Edmonton Oilers forward off the ice indefinitely.
Moreau sustained the injury while warming up before the Oilers worked out at a fitness club Monday. He was attempting a lay-up when he came down on the foot of Shawn Horcoff, rolling the ankle over.
"It was a freak thing," Moreau said. "We were going to warm up. We were just playing around and I landed on it funny.
"I just knew it wasn't good. It was one of those things where, as soon as it happened, you know it's bad. It wasn't a good feeling."
Moreau, who had considerable swelling yesterday, definitely won't be ready to play tomorrow when the Columbus Blue Jackets come calling at Rexall Place. There is no set time as to how long he'll be out.
"In retrospect, it was pretty stupid, but you never think that way," he said.
"I've done it a bunch of times. You think you're invincible sometimes.
"When something happens away from the rink, it's frustrating because you feel you're ultimately going to let your teammates down. It wasn't in the course of battle. It was doing something that could've been prevented."
Oilers athletic therapist Ken Lowe indicated yesterday Moreau will be reassessed when the swelling has subsided.
Moreau had played all 52 games this season and 100 straight dating back to the 2003-04 campaign, when he saw action in 81 of 82 games.
He last missed a game Dec. 23, 2003.
"That's a frustrating thing, too. I've been so healthy the last couple of years," Moreau said.
Moreau travelled yesterday wearing a plastic walking splint to protect the ankle.
X-rays have indicated there is no fracture.