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Blue Jackets’ Nikitin won’t return after upper-body injury

Mar 3, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT

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While Artem Anisimov seemed to avoid a new injury, the Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t get through Sunday unscathed. Defenseman Nikita Nikitin suffered an upper-body issue and didn’t return against the Colorado Avalanche today, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline.

If Nikitin, 26, is out for an extended amount of time, it would add another player to the team’s swelling injury list.

Looking at defensemen alone, Nikitin could be added to a list that includes John Moore (upper-body), James Wisniewski (foot) and Jack Johnson (upper-body). Forwards Derick Brassard and Brandon Dubinsky are also dealing with bumps and bruises of their own.

Nikitin produced a meager four points and a -4 rating in 18 games going into Sunday, but with an average of 22:35 minutes per game, it’s clear that Columbus is in danger of losing another important piece.

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