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Ducks' Andy Sutton breaks thumb in fight

Oct 9, 2010, 2:40 AM EDT

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andysutton3.jpgSometimes the perils of dropping the gloves can have unforeseen circumstances. In the case of Ducks defenseman Andy Sutton, taking swings at Red Wings defenseman Ruslan Salei can bring about problems. Like a broken thumb.

Not only did the Ducks begin the season with a one-sided loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, defenseman Andy Sutton suffered a fractured right thumb when he was injured in the second period.

No timetable on his possible return was given as the club said he will be re-evaluated today, either in Nashville or in Anaheim, if the decision is made to send him home early. Sutton was wearing a cast after the game and wasn’t available for comment.

If there’s one thing the Ducks can’t afford it’s to have their defense take any hits whatsoever. Losing a guy who takes pride in his defensive game on a team that severely lacks a defensive presence on the blue line makes things even more difficult. Prospect defenseman Luca Sbisa will get the call to take Sutton’s spot in the lineup, meaning both Sbisa and 2010 first round pick Cam Fowler make up one-third of the Ducks defensemen. That’s a lot of youth.

Sbisa isn’t too green to the NHL however, having played 39 games for the Flyers back in 2008-2009 and eight games last season with Anaheim before being sent back to junior hockey.

The Ducks were out shot in the game with Detroit 43-21 and asking for a young guy like Luca Sbisa to step into that role is asking a lot of him. If the Ducks can’t tighten things up defensively, a task that was set to be tall as it is, both Sbisa and Fowler are going to get a sudden taste of NHL life on the blue line.

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