Any inclination Andrew Ference had about remaining in the Edmonton Oilers lineup was erased by the results of his MRI.

He has a small rip in his pectoral muscle and if he were to continue to play, he would risk suffering a more significant tear.

Or, as the medical staff explained it to the Oilers captain, it was akin to a piece of licorice.

“If you’re pulling it, it gets a hole in it, which is kind of where I’m at right now,” Ference said on Tuesday before going out for a light skate at the SAP Center. “If you pull a little bit more, it snaps.”

Ference had been playing with the injury, which occurred when he was jammed up against the boards, but it was just getting worse every time he’d aggravate the area during games and practices. Once he lifted an opponent’s stick and realized he was in trouble. Another time, his elbow got jammed in the stanchion.

Still, he hasn’t ruled out a return before the last regular season game is played on April 12, but only if there’s significant improvement.

Luke Gazdic, meanwhile, had been playing with a bad shoulder but was not at risk of further damage so rather than sit on the sidelines and wait for the surgery, he stayed in the lineup until the team headed to San Jose to play the Sharks.

Gazdic will have surgery in Cleveland, following the likes of Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the office of the Ohio specialist.