SUN Hockey Pool

Broken toe puts Smith on shelf

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:26 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers will be without defenceman Jason Smith until after the Olympic break as X-rays have determined the big toe on his right foot is fractured, not just bruised.

Smith found out Thursday he has a non-displaced fracture of the toe, an injury he sustained in the second period of a 4-3 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Glendale Arena Jan. 29.

"It's the swelling and irritation in the area and having enough strength to the skate to be able to push through it," Smith said yesterday morning.

"We'll let it try to settle down and regenerate itself. It needs time for the healing process. Once that starts to happen I can put a little more weight on it and get some activity."

Smith, 32, sat out games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks, then returned to the line-up in last Monday's 6-5 shootout win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, playing 19:03 with the broken toe.

A series of follow-up X-rays and an MRI then revealed the fracture and Smith has been kept off the ice since.

"Pretty much right away," Smith said, asked when he thought the injury might be more serious than just a bruise. "It was sore from the day I got hit. In some sense a deep bone bruise is basically a fracture."

Smith's regimen, for at least the start of the Olympic break, will be plenty of rest.

He expects to be ready to play when the Oilers resume their schedule March 1.


Photos