SUN Hockey Pool

Bad break for big Matt

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

There are no good breaks, but there are bad ones, and Matt Greene's ankle, by all accounts, is bad.

He needs surgery and will be out till after Christmas, at least.

"He's out of the equation for at least a couple of months, I heard even longer," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "He really did a lot of damage."

Greene got his skate caught in a rut while landing awkwardly on the ice against Detroit on Tuesday and had his ankle twist and snap underneath him. He stayed in the hospital overnight and was scheduled for surgery yesterday.

Roommate Dustin Penner spoke with Greene on the phone for a few minutes and said his buddy was in good spirits.

"He's a tough guy," said Penner. "It's a tough thing to go through. I've broken five bones in my life and I know what it's like to go through.

"It's too bad, it was a freak accident, but that's how a lot of those things happen."

NILSSON RECALLED

The Oilers called up Robert Nilsson from Springfield yesterday, but MacTavish admits they're not exactly sure which Robert Nilsson is going to show up.

"We're hoping that we get the good version," said the coach, who watched the slick forward start training camp and the first few games of the season with a bang, then fizzle out.

"Normally Robert comes in and he plays pretty well for a couple of games and he drifts. Hopefully we'll get the productive guy that we saw through training camp and were wildly optimistic about. Then we lost a few games and he kind of lost his game."

A few weeks in the minors, they hope, have reignited his spark.

"Hopefully we can get a guy who can make some plays and help us out on the power play."

To make room, the Oilers sent JF Jacques to Springfield.

PENNER SKATED HARD

The Oilers were split into two groups, with one group put through a tough off-ice workout and the other put through an exhausting skate. Penner, whose conditioning needs work, was in the bag skate group.

"I think as coaches we've become soft in the amount of skating we give the players," said MacTavish. "With the rigors of the schedule and the importance of getting in the weight room, you don't get a lot of conditioning in your skating, but there are players who need it.

"We have to identify those players and we have to skate them. It's not punishment. There are guys that need puck handling drills, there are guys that need passing drills. You try to identify weaknesses and you work towards strengthening them."

SOURAY SKATES

Sheldon Souray hit the blades yesterday for the first time since separating his shoulder Oct. 13.

"It's always a step in the right direction when you get back out there," he said. "I think the timeline is still the same (mid-November return). We're certainly not behind, that's for sure.

"I want to make sure that when I come back I'm good and ready and comfortable."

CAPTAIN NEEDED

Ethan Moreau and his broken foot still aren't close to coming back, but MacTavish can't get his captain back fast enough.

"We need Ethan back, we need the physical pop up front," he said.

"Raffi (Torres) has given us some physical play and Jarret Stoll is starting to play physically, but after that it drops off.

"We need another guy for sure. It'll be nice to get Ethan back because that's his game - he drips intensity and we need that."


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