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Oilers lose Hemsky to concussion

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TSN.ca Staff
1/19/2011 4:51:17 PM
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The Edmonton Oilers could be without forward Ales Hemsky for the foreseeable future.

The winger left Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Wild with a concussion after taking one shift in the second period.

"We believe it's what we anticipated, but we don't have proof of that yet. We think it's a concussion," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney.

On Wednesday, Hemsky had an MRI on his head to check for structural damage on his face.

"I don't think the MRI is going to disclose a lot, it's just checking on other things. They're just looking at some facial stuff and I think he's fine, but he is concussed and how long that remains, who knows."

While the 27-year-old didn't sustain a big hit that took him out of the game, Renney believes that it was an accumulation of several hits over the Oilers' last few games.

"He took a puck in the head in Vancouver, an elbow to the head and a stick to the cheek in games on the road trip we just finished and he was a little out of sorts tonight, so we pulled him," Renney told the media after the Oilers' 4-1 loss on Tuesday.

According to Renney, Hemsky was having some sinus issues before Tuesday's game and felt a little off but he felt it was more of a head cold and wanted to suit up.

"Sometimes we have to step in to protect them because they just want to play," Renney said. "I don't know how they did it back in the day. You'd have to think that half the guys were skating around loony tunes, not even knowing they had a problem. So I think we're doing the right thing on being prudent with the head shots and I think we're doing the right thing in calling the penalties that compromise a player to that end."

The injury could cost Hemsky his first All-Star appearance, as his timeline for returning to action is still up in the air.

Hemsky, who has missed close to a month of action already this season with a groin injury, has nine goals and 20 assists in 32 games.

"Everybody at some point in time loses a very good player on their roster because of it, but it happens to everybody so it's an even playing field," said Renney.

Ales Hemsky (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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