(AP) St. Louis: In what could not be worse timing for the team, the St. Louis Blues announced top player Joe Thornton could miss up to a month with a lacerated hand, suffered in a game last night against the Washington Capitals. Thornton was immediately ushered to a hospital to have the wound repaired and specialists will continue to evaluate the level of nerve damage to the hand. The Blues had no comment on the issue, although rookie Garth Murray has been called up from Peoria. The Blues are currently attempting to solidify a playoff position and ideally move up the conference pecking order to challenge for home ice in the first round. With the loss of Thornton, simply holding ground might be the new goal.