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Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf out with broken bones in face until February

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf likely will be out of the lineup until February while recovering from broken bones in his face.

Getzlaf learned Wednesday his injuries won't require surgery, but he can't return to the lineup until the fractures heal. That's expected to take four to six weeks, likely keeping him out past the all-star game Jan. 30.

With a black eye and a large scar in the centre of his forehead, Getzlaf spoke to reporters for the first time since the injury, which occurred Dec. 28. The Ducks initially feared Getzlaf, who doesn't wear a visor, had been hit in the eye.

"When it hit, it definitely was scary," Getzlaf said. "Obviously, I knew that it wasn't in my eye.

"Not everybody else knew. It was a scary time, because I got a little dazed and didn't really know what was going on. I just had to get off the ice, because I was bleeding."

Getzlaf was hurt when a shot by Phoenix captain Shane Doan deflected off Anaheim defenceman Cam Fowler's stick. The puck hit Getzlaf squarely in his forehead, causing multiple nasal sinus fractures.

Getzlaf bled profusely on the ice, but several days of exams revealed nothing more serious than fractures.

"It was pretty scary for the first few days after," Getzlaf said. "We weren't really sure what was wrong."

Getzlaf underwent additional exams Tuesday. He isn't allowed to exercise until the healing progresses.

"Everything was good," he said. "It was what we wanted to hear. There's some fractures up there that need to be healed, but they're nowhere near my eyes or my brain."

Getzlaf had 13 goals and 24 assists in the first 40 games of his first season as the Ducks' captain, embracing the leadership role while keeping Anaheim in playoff contention despite a brutal schedule that included an NHL-high 41 games before Jan. 1. The Canadian Olympian is in his sixth NHL season, spending his entire career with Anaheim.

Bobby Ryan has taken over as the Ducks' top-line centre after changing lines and positions several times in the past two seasons. Ryan centred leading scorer Corey Perry and young forward Matt Beleskey during the Ducks' game against Nashville on Wednesday night.

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