The Edmonton Oilers confirmed Wednesday that Matt Greene will miss three months because of a broken left ankle.
Greene, 24, suffered the injury in the second period of Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
He is the fourth Oilers regular to be shelved this season, joining Sheldon Souray (sprained shoulder), Joni Pitkanen (damaged knee cartilage) and captain Ethan Moreau (broken foot).
"I don't think any of us wanted to be 13 games in and be in the situation we're in with injuries," Souray said. "But it's the reality of the situation and nothing we can do is going to change that.
"The way guys get experience is to play in these situations. If we can get some good efforts … the main thing here is to stay afloat because, once you start getting on the decline, it's hard to play catch up."
"It is like a bad bug happening again," Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert said, recalling how last season's lineup was decimated.
"Eventually, you've got to think it is going to stop so, knock on wood, hopefully it does now. It is just bad luck right now.
"Last year, I got a lot of minutes and I got experience. I'm using what I learned from last year now."
Greene was injured when he tried to elude Red Wings forward Dallas Drake and caught his skate in a rut.
Greene's left leg buckled under him as they bumped, breaking his ankle and further reducing Edmonton's defence corps to Steve Staios, Dick Tarnstrom, Ladislav Smid, Denis Grebeshkov, Gilbert and Mathieu Roy.
"I'm not all that worried about the injuries on the back end," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said. "With [the players] we have healthy, we're going to be able to overcome it.
"On paper it looks like we don't have a lot of experience. But the way they're playing, they're playing with a lot of poise."
"I'm not concerned about the defence in the way I was last year," MacTavish continued. "We're a lot deeper back there now and we can move the puck."
Greene, a stay-at-home defenceman, has one assist and 11 penalty minutes in 13 games this season.
He has registered one goal and 12 assists for 13 points with 163 penalty minutes in 118 games since being taken in the second round (44th overall) of the 2002 NHL draft by Edmonton.