Coyotes’ Vitale to miss 4-6 weeks with fractured orbital bone

Oct 21, 2015, 1:23 PM | Updated: 1:23 pm
Boston Bruins' Kevan Miller, right, connects with a punch during a fight against Arizona Coyotes' J...

Boston Bruins' Kevan Miller, right, connects with a punch during a fight against Arizona Coyotes' Joe Vitale (14) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

NEW YORK — Coyotes forward Joe Vitale suffered an orbital bone fracture on Saturday and will miss four to six weeks, Arizona general manager Don Maloney said Wednesday.

Vitale was injured in a fight with Boston defenseman Kevan Miller early in the second period of a game at Gila River Arena. Vitale took several big punches to the face and appeared to be having some difficulty with his eye as he sat in the penalty box. He eventually went to the training room and did not return.

“Bad break, bad timing for him,” Maloney said. “It’s actually better than we originally expected. We thought he might need a surgical procedure. Now it’s just the healing process, he’ll come back and wear a visor and we’ll go from there.”

Vitale was a healthy scratch for the Coyotes’ first four games this season, but played in Saturday’s game because rookie forward Jordan Martinook was out with an ankle injury.

Martinook is still nursing that injury but was back in the lineup on Tuesday in New Jersey and is expected to play Thursday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Coyotes recalled forward Matthias Plachta earlier this week when Martinook was in doubt. Plachta is still with the team in New York.

Vitale is on injured reserve.

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