Veteran Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart fractured a bone in one of his hands during Tuesday night's 3-2 win over Buffalo at the Garden and will be lost to the Boston backline for some six weeks.
According to a club source, the 26-year-old Stuart sustained the fracture when blocking a shot early in the game. The same source said that Stuart, who was sidelined by injuries for 26 games last season, will not require surgery.
Important to keep in mind: six weeks is only a target date. A typical estimate for such fractures would range in the 4-8 week category.
Update: Late this afternoon, the Bruins released an official update on Stuart's diagnosis and prognosis. To wit:
''Mark sustained a fracture to the 4th metacarpal of his right hand (ring finger) and dislocated his 4th metacarpal phlangeal joint. He was evaluated by Dr. Matt Leibman at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and is expected to miss approximately 4-6 weeks.
Prior to last year's rash of injuries and ailments (including a nasty infection) Stuart did not miss a game for two straight seasons.