The Winnipeg Jets will be without Mark Stuart, possibly until the spring, after the defenceman broke his hand while trying to block a shot against the Edmonton Oilers last weekend.

"About six minutes into that first period, he had a fairly significant break in his hand," coach Paul Maurice said on teh Jets website. "That's four to six weeks he's out."

Mark Stuart

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart is out for the next four to six weeks with a broken hand. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Maurice said it was clear Stuart was hurt on the play, but the severity of the injury wasn't obvious until after the game.

"Didn't feel he needed the x-ray [at the time] and somehow played the game he played, which is as good a game as he's played in a number of weeks," Maurice said. "I don't know how he did it."

At the end of the game, Stuart realized he needed to have his hand checked out after all, Maurice added.

The squad will be without Stuart's "quiet leadership" at a time when the chance of securing a playoff spot seems increasingly uncertain.