Originally written January 23, 2012 on Fox Sports Ohio:
Another loss and another Blue Jackets defenseman lost to injury.Nikita Nikitin, who had played big minutes and surprisingly well since coming to Columbus in an early-season trade with St. Louis, suffered what appeared to be a serious left ankle injury during the third period of Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss in Detroit.The Blue Jackets did not offer an update immediately after the game, but it does not appear to be a short-term injury.Nikitin was retrieving a puck and skating hard toward the end boards when Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg put his left hand in the small of Nikitin's back and appeared to give him a slight shove.As Nikitin lost his balance and slammed into the boards, all of his weight was absorbed by his left leg, and his ankle twisted gruesomely. He was helped to the bench by two teammates and went straight to the dressing room.Zetterberg was given a five-minute boarding penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct.NOTES, QUOTESNash's No. 61 retired by junior club--Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash had his No. 61 retired on Friday by his junior club, the London Knights, his sweater joining six others in the roof of the John Labatt Centre. "It was a special night," Nash said. "What really blew me away was seeing my name up there with some of the great players who have come through the London Knights organization. That's special."--Look for Blue Jackets defenseman Brett Lebda to see more playing time now in the wake of an injury suffered by Nikita Nikitin during Saturday's shootout loss to Detroit. Lebda was signed by the Blue Jackets on Thursday after spending the previous two months playing for Columbus' minor league affiliate in Springfield. He figured to be the Jackets' No. 7 defenseman the rest of the season, but now the pecking order has changed.QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a huge lift for us. We'll practice him hard here the next couple of days and see where he stands." -- Blue Jackets interim coach Todd Richards, referring to R.J. Umberger, who returned Monday after missing five games with a concussion.ROSTER REPORTPLAYER NOTES:--D Nikita Nikitin suffered a serious left ankle injury when he was boarded by Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg midway through the third period. No update was immediately available for Nikitin, who scored his second goal of the season earlier in the game.--RW R.J. Umberger could play in one or both of the Blue Jackets' games before the NHL All-Star Game break. Umberger, out the last five games with a concussion, has passed a baseline test and returned to practice with the Blue Jackets. He was hurt Jan. 9 when he was elbowed in the head by Anaheim's Jean-Francois Jacques.--LW Ryan Russell scored his second goal of the season early in Saturday's shootout loss to Detroit. Russell followed the puck to the net and buried a rebound off a Derek Dorsett shot. He was recalled earlier this month as a temporary fix, but has earned a permanent spot on the Blue Jackets' checking line.MEDICAL WATCH:--D James Wisniewski (broken ankle) is out until February. --C Jeff Carter (separated shoulder) out indefinitely. --RW Mark Letestu (broken hand) is out until late February. --LW Kristian Huselius (lower body) is out until February. --D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out for the season. --D Nikita Nikitin (left ankle) is out indefinitely.

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