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Islanders defenceman Martinek out 4 to 6 weeks; Comeau demoted

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - New York Islanders defenceman Radek Martinek will be out four to six weeks because of an unidentified upper-body injury sustained during a game last weekend, the club said Tuesday.

Martinek was knocked out of the Islanders' home opener in the first period Saturday night after he absorbed a hard hit behind the net. He was evaluated by doctors that night and didn't play in New York's 7-1 loss to Buffalo on Monday.

The Islanders revealed the length of time Martinek is expected to miss, but still declined to provide any information about the injury.

Martinek was skating along the end boards behind the New York goal and crumpled after being crunched by St. Louis centre David Backes with 3:10 left in the period. He remained down on the ice for a few moments before skating without assistance toward the tunnel to the dressing room.

It is the latest injury to the Islanders' already banged-up defence. Just three games into the season, New York is also missing Andy Sutton (hand surgery) and Chris Campoli (shoulder). Both are expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

The Islanders also sent down 22-year-old forward Blake Comeau to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

Comeau, who had eight goals and seven assists as a rookie in 57 games last season with the Islanders, didn't dress for any of New York's regular-season games this season.

He had no points in three games with the Islanders during the 2006-07 season after making his NHL debut.

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