Moreau expects to be back in lineup soon

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Considering the early prognosis, Ethan Moreau can't be too bothered about sitting out last night's game against the Vancouver Canucks.

It appeared as though the Edmonton Oilers captain would be out for an extended period of time after taking a shot off the wrist Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

However, a further diagnosis revealed Moreau did not break a bone and is expected to be back in the lineup soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow when the Oilers host the Nashville Predators.

'PRETTY MANGLED'

"The way it looked after the game, most people thought it was broken, it looked pretty mangled," Moreau said. "But the swelling came right down, we had a couple of MRIs and X-rays. It still doesn't look very good, but there is no break, it's just swollen."

Yesterday Moreau practised with the Oilers in the morning and contemplated playing that night against the Canucks.

However he sat out for the first time this season and Robert Nilsson took his place in the lineup.

Nilsson had been a healthy scratch for the Oilers in the win over the Coyotes.

"I thought I would go out (this morning) take a couple of shots and then come off," Moreau said. "But it felt a lot better than I thought it would, now we're just in a position to decide how effective I'll be.

"If I can't play my game, there is not much point of being out there. I don't think we're in a situation where I'm better with one hand than someone else is with two. I have to be physical and be able to win battles with the puck so I'll have to determine if I'm able to do that."

Prior to last night, Moreau had played all 32 games for the Oilers, which is the total number of games he dressed in the past two years combined.

Last season, Moreau was limited to just 25 games with a broken leg, while the previous year he missed all but seven games with a shoulder injury.

"It's great news that there's no break," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "It sounded like it was going to be bad news, that's the sense I got anyway. So we're all happy that it's not a break."

STILL SENSITIVE

When Moreau returns to the lineup, it's expected he'll have extra padding to protect the injury, which he says is still sensitive.

The injury occurred when he went down to block an Olli Jokinen shot late in the third period of Monday's contest.

"Right after the game, I was pretty down, it looked horrible," Moreau said. "It looked like a golf ball sticking out of my hand, it was really swollen and I couldn't move it at all.

"But in the last couple of days the swelling has gone down. I can't really move it, I don't have a lot of range of motion, but the strength isn't too bad, we'll see how it goes."


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