The Ducks have listed Getzlaf as day to day. He returned to Anaheim on Wednesday afternoon to begin treatment in hopes of being ready for Game 5 on Friday. The first-round series is now tied at 2-2.
Getzlaf didn't sound confident after the Ducks' team meeting Thursday at Honda Center.
"I don't think I've missed a playoff game in my career, so it was a tough thing to watch last night and not be a part of it," Getzlaf said. "But that's the way it is. It's not in my nature at all to step away from the game unless someone forces me to. It's been tough and not easy to deal with."
Injured forward Matt Beleskey isn't likely to rejoin Getzlaf on the top line for Game 5, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The coach also isn't saying whether Jonas Hiller will replace rookie Frederik Andersen in net. Andersen was pulled from Game 4 after allowing four goals, and the veteran Hiller is eager to return after losing his starting job late in the best regular season in franchise history.
"Having quite a few games under my belt, that definitely helps me to find game mode," Hiller said.
Getzlaf has four points -- two goals and two assists -- in this series and is a plus-3. Rickard Rakell took his place for Game 4.
Getzlaf was hit in the jaw by a Tyler Seguin slap shot in the final minute of Game 1. He was taken to a hospital and X-rays were negative. He was stitched up, and wore a face mask in Games 2 and 3 to protect his jaw.
Near the end of the second period of Game 3, Stars forward Antoine Roussel got into a scrum with Getzlaf and managed to get a few punches at his face mask after Getzlaf punched Roussel.
It wasn't clear whether the upper-body injury was related to the jaw injury or was a different issue for the captain.
Boudreau offered little insight after Wednesday's game, saying only that it was a previous injury for Getzlaf. He wouldn't elaborate after being asked several times.
"It was a previous injury aggravated, but that's all I'm going to say," said Boudreau, who downplayed the notion that the captain's absence was deflating. "In the first period, it made us come out and do whatever we had to do."
Getzlaf had played the remainder of Game 3 following the scrum and talked to the media Tuesday, with no hint he wouldn't play in Game 4.
Getzlaf has had a busy series. His wife gave birth to the couple's third child, a daughter, early Friday morning before Game 2.
He finished second in scoring in the NHL regular season with 87 points in 77 games and is a candidate for the Hart Trophy as league MVP.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.