Ugly picture for Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

Matt Greene didn't have to look far to see a replay of the spill that snapped his ankle.

Footage that gruesome makes the rounds in a hurry, so all he had to do after checking out of the hospital was surf the sports highlights or log on to the internet.

It was all over the place. There he is on YouTube, hopping over Dallas Drake, catching his skate in a rut, twisting his leg underneath him, then dropping his entire 230 pounds on a left fibula that didn't stand a chance.

He didn't actually hear it snap, but knew instantly that something was very wrong. So does everyone who turns their head and cringes when they see the replay.

"I think my leg was kind of just dangling there," said the Oilers defenceman, who stopped by practice to see the training staff and visit with teammates yesterday. "If you get a slap shot off the ankle it hurts but you can put weight on it, this one was kind of dangling.

"You could feel right away that there wasn't anything there, that it wasn't connected to the rest of my body. I knew it was broken right away, I just didn't know to what extent."

It wasn't until Greene himself saw the replay that he pieced together the puzzle.

"I didn't know exactly what happened, but it kind of makes sense now," he said. "I thought I went up higher in the air ... I hit the ice a lot quicker than I thought I was going to, that's what kind of ruined my footing. It really surprised me when (the ankle) bent the other way. I think I just caught it in a rut, got turned around and sat on it, a combination of a lot of things."

The pain was excruciating, and hasn't improved much after surgery Wednesday to insert a metal plate and screw in his ankle. He doesn't expect to be back before the late-January All-Star break.

"I was listening to everything they had to say (in the hospital) but I don't think I was taking it in too well," he said. "But it could be a lot worse, I could be out for the year. If I'm back in three months and we're making a playoff push, hopefully I can be a part of that.

"I'd rather have something broken than have something they don't have a time line for. This is pretty much set in stone. My leg was broken, there's a metal plate put in and you'll be out for this amount of time.

"You have to look at the bright side of things. It's just getting through the pain right now."

Greene isn't after sympathy, he knows as well as anyone that injuries are part of the game, and that the really gross ones live forever in the highlights.

"Everybody who plays hockey goes through injuries," he said. "You probably don't get to watch them on YouTube, but that's life in today's game, I guess."


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