GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers' leading scorer and an important part of the power play, will be sidelined for three to four weeks and miss at least six games after breaking his left hand while blocking a shot against Austria on Sunday.
Thursday's evaluation from Rangers hand specialist Dr. Martin Posner basically confirmed the diagnosis from an MRI taken the day after Norway's 3-1 loss in the Olympics, a team spokesman said.
"I knew it was trouble right away," said a disappointed Zuccarello after the Rangers practiced for the second consecutive day. "They didn't have an X-ray at the rink, so I kind of shrugged it off and played the rest of the game, but the next day was bad."
Zuccarello, who has 43 points, said it was "not the thing you wanted to happen over there. It's tough, but a part of the game . . . Everyone wants to play for their country. It's a fun tournament, but it's not that fun when stuff like this happens."
The 26-year-old forward, who wore a brace covering the outside of his hand where the fracture occurred, said a bright spot was that the Rangers don't resume play until Thursday against Chicago, giving him time for treatment and conditioning. "Especially at this time of the season, you want to play every game," he said. "I just have to work hard and try and be in shape and get ready."
Zuccarello, a restricted free agent this summer, hopes to return sooner rather than later. "After a week, they'll take some pictures and have a more specific timetable,'' he said. "After a couple weeks, I'll probably go on the ice."