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Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo has 'midsection' injury, could miss month

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour said Thursday that star defenseman Tony DeAngelo could miss "about a month" because of an undisclosed injury.

Brind'Amour didn't specify the nature of the injury, saying only that DeAngelo "did something in his midsection."

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"It's going to need time to heal," Brind'Amour told reporters, calling the injury "long-term."

DeAngelo aggravated the injury during the second period of the Hurricanes' win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. He was injured after taking a slap shot from the blue line just seconds into his shift and never returned to the game.

The 26-year-old DeAngelo leads all Hurricanes defensemen with 40 points (nine goals, 31 assists) over 43 games this season.

Meanwhile, fellow defenseman Brendan Smith is continuing his recovery after taking a puck to the ear while sliding to block a shot in Sunday's victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Smith was transported to a hospital after the game for further evaluation, but he was released to travel with the team for their matchup against the Flyers, though he didn't play.

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Brind'Amour said he's "more optimistic" on Smith's return, adding that he will resume working out soon. The coach said Smith's return date remains uncertain.

The Hurricanes (35-11-4) are scheduled to host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

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