Cam Fowler

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby looks to pass in front of the Ducks' Cam Fowler. (Harry How / Getty Images / March 7, 2014)

Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, a U.S. Olympian who leads the team in average ice time per game, suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament of the knee due to a Friday hit and will miss three to five weeks, the Ducks announced Wednesday.

Fowler, 22, suffered the injury Friday night when he was hit along the boards by Colorado forward Patrick Bordeleau. The team was hopeful before he underwent a Tuesday MRI that he would only be sidelined for a minimal period.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau declined to comment about the injury after Wednesday’s practice in Anaheim.

Fowler has six goals and 30 assists for the Ducks (45-17-7), who play at Pacific Division co-leader San Jose on Thursday.

If Fowler were to be out a full five weeks, he would return during the first round of the NHL playoffs.

The team has shifted defensive pairs recently, putting former Fowler linemate Ben Lovejoy with rookie Hampus Lindholm and Lindholm’s former fellow defenseman Francois Beauchemin with Luca Sbisa.

Stephane Robidas, the veteran defenseman the Ducks acquired from the Dallas Stars on March 4, made his debut with the team Tuesday, paired with veteran Bryan Allen.

ALSO:

Cam Newton to miss four months after ankle surgery

Manny Pacquiao vows to show Tim Bradley his killer instinct

President Obama picks Michigan State to win NCAA tournament

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire