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January 13, 2012 | 10:40am ET
Umberger has concussion

Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger left practice early on Thursday following a short on-ice chat with new interim coach Todd Richards.

Less than hour later, the 29-year-old was diagnosed with a concussion, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Umberger's concussion is believed to have occurred during the third period of Sunday's contest, after he absorbed an elbow to the head by Anaheim Ducks winger Jean-Francois Jacques, who was suspended three games for his actions.

"It's a big blow," Blue Jackest GM Scott Howson told the Dispatch. "Obviously, R.J. is a big part of this team, and he's a guy who has always played through a lot of injuries to keep himself in the lineup. But I'm glad he's taken this step. We're going to take it slow and handle it the right way, show every bit of patience that is required of an injury like this."

There is no timetable for the return of Umberger, who is unquestionably missing Friday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes and Saturday's matchup against the San Jose Sharks.

His potential long-term absence could also be a big blow to the Jackets' management, who has been busy working the phones to make moves as the trade deadline fast approaches.

Umberger has been mentioned as an available player, but with his current battle with a head injury, he could be overlooked by several teams.

In 42 games with the Blue Jackets this season, Umberger has accumulated seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points.

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