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Mantha Out Four To Six Weeks After Breaking Hand In Fight [VIDEO]

"I’m good with him doing it again," said Jeff Blashill.

December 04, 2018 - 4:05 pm

Anthony Mantha won the battle, but lost the war. Though he got the best of Colorado's Patrik Nemeth in a fight in Sunday night's 2-0 loss to the Avs, Mantha broke his hand in the process and will miss four to six weeks. 

Jeff Blashill announced the news on Tuesday. Despite the unfortunate outcome, Blashill said he's pleased Mantha stuck up for one of his teammates. The big Red Wings forward jumped in on Nemeth after he took out Dylan Larkin in the corner. 

“There’s inherent risk in playing hockey, there’s inherent risk in getting into a fight,” Blashill said. “He was sticking up for Larkin, who got his head run against the boards. I know this, he’d do it again. And I’m good with him doing it again. We want to make sure we’re sticking up for each other. You’re not going anywhere at any time if you got a team that’s selfish and doesn’t care about each other.”

It's the second time in his young career Mantha has injured himself by dropping the gloves, the first coming in 2017 when he broke his finger in a scrap with Luke Witkowski, then a member of the Lightning.

“It’s just like saying should you block shots. Of course you should block shots, that’s the sacrifice it takes to win,” Blashill said. “Every once in a while, you’re going to get a broken bone because of it. Should you take a hit to make a play? Of course you should take a hit to make a play, otherwise you’re never winning. Should you stick up for your teammates? Of course you should stick up for your teammates, otherwise you’re never winning. That’s just the reality of it.”

Mantha, 24, was scheduled to have surgery on his hand Tuesday afternoon. After a slow start to the season, he was tied for third on the team with nine goals. 

A four-to-six week absence would put Mantha on track to return between Jan. 2 and Jan. 16.