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Wild's Belanger has broken big toe, recovery timetable not set

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild centre Eric Belanger has a broken big toe on his right foot, the result of slap shot that hit him there on Friday.

Belanger did not suit up for Sunday's game against San Jose after being injured Friday night against Atlanta. Minnesota assistant general manager Tom Lynn said there was no timetable set for Belanger's return. The team will wait until the swelling subsides in the toe.

In part because of the unexpected in-season retirement of Wes Walz, the Wild have been short on consistent two-way play from their centres - and Belanger's injury thinned the position further.

He was replaced by Steve Kelly, a veteran of 148 NHL games and four teams since 1998, who was called up from the minors after the injury.

Beyond budding star Mikko Koivu, Pavol Demitra is playing out of position and rookie James Sheppard is anchoring the third line.

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