Hockey

Kovalchuk out a month with broken foot

Atlanta Thrashers sniper Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to miss four weeks of NHL action due to a broken bone in his right foot.

Atlanta Thrashers sniper Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to miss four weeks of NHL action due to a broken bone in his right foot.

The team said that a CT scan Monday revealed the break.

"Injuries are a part of the game," general manager Don Waddell said on the team's website. "It's very disappointing for Kovy and for us to lose him."

Kovalchuk was hurt when he was struck by a puck during the first period of Saturday's 4-3 home loss to San Jose.

The Thrashers captain — due to become a free agent after this season — is tied for second in the NHL with nine goals, helping Atlanta to a 4-3-1 start. 

The injury might open the door for rookie Evander Kane. The 18-year-old, who was drafted fourth overall in the summer, has five points in his first eight games.

After Kovalchuk left the game against San Jose, Kane was slotted into the top line with Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov.

"Now it's an opportunity for some other players to step up," Waddell said. "The time that [Kovalchuk] will be lost, we'll miss him, but our team will continue on and we'll win hockey games."