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Ducks D Schneider out at least four weeks with broken bone in left ankle

An MRI taken Sunday revealed that Schneider sustained a non-displaced fracture of the ankle Saturday night in Anaheim's 3-2 victory over Los Angeles. According to coach Randy Carlyle, Schneider was injured in a corner when the defenceman turned around and twisted his ankle while trying to close in on a Kings player.

"It was very harmless looking, but obviously we got the worst-case scenario as far as what transpired," Carlyle said. "It's obviously something we didn't expect to happen, but injuries are part of the game and now somebody else will get more of an opportunity.

"This is the hand we're dealt, and we'll deal with it. Kent Huskins, Joe DiPenta, Shane Hnidy and Maxim Kondratiev are going to be expected to fill a larger role and play to another level. We feel they can make a contribution, so we'll see how it plays out."

The 38-year-old Schneider, beginning his 20th NHL season, signed a two-year, US$11.25-million deal with Anaheim. The Ducks brought him aboard this summer as insurance in case captain Scott Niedermayer decides to retire. The team isn't pressuring Niedermayer for a decision, but did suspend him last Tuesday when he didn't report for training camp.

Schneider had 11 goals and 41 assists in 68 games with Detroit last season, his fourth with the Red Wings. He broke his wrist in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against San Jose on May 5 and missed the rest of the post-season.

On the first day of camp with the Ducks, Schneider limped off the ice after a wrist shot by Hnidy hit him in the same ankle.

"It's just something you have to deal with," teammate Sean O'Donnell said after Sunday's 2-1 shootout loss to Phoenix. "I'm just glad it happened now, as opposed to February, March or April. Hopefully this will be the last time something like that happens to him."

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