Boston Bruins center Marc Savard drops to the ice after injuring his right leg against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON - Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard is expected to miss three to four weeks because of a partial ligament tear in his right knee that won't need surgery.
The team said before Saturday's game against the New York Rangers that the injury is to his medial collateral ligament.
Savard was injured along the boards in Thursday's 5-2 loss at home against Chicago.
On the same night winger Milan Lucic returned after missing 18 games with a high left ankle sprain, Savard was lost 28 seconds into the game.
"Any time you lose a player it's an unfortunate situation," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday. "We know what Savvy can bring to our hockey club, but, again, that's part of the game."
Savard, the team's leading scorer each of the past three seasons, signed a seven-year contract extension in early December that runs through 2017 and is worth slightly more than $28 million.
He's the team's fourth leading scorer this season.
If Savard is out four weeks, he would return for a few games prior to the NHL's Olympic break, which may prompt the team to consider leaving him out longer.
Earlier this season, Savard missed 15 games with a broken foot.
Savard joined the Bruins after signing a US$20-million, four-year contract as a free agent in the summer of 2006.