AVALANCHE

Quickest month ever? Nathan MacKinnon already back skating for Avs

Dec 20, 2022, 12:18 PM
Nathan MacKinnon...
(Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

When an injured Nathan MacKinnon exited the Avalanche’s game against the Flyers on Dec. 5, fans couldn’t believe it.

The Avalanche had already been hit with a slew of injuries to start the season, and the team couldn’t afford to lose its superstar center. But that’s exactly what happened, as MacKinnon was diagnosed with an “upper-body” injury and head coach Jared Bednar told reporters he’d miss a month.

Well, perhaps this is the quickest month ever, or simply a gift during the holiday season, but MacKinnon was back on the ice at Avs practice on Tuesday.

Now, just because MacKinnon is skating doesn’t mean he’ll play on Wednesday night against Montreal, but this is promising. He wasn’t practicing with his teammates, but still getting a good workout in.

It’s hard to find a tougher or more driven player in the league, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see MacKinnon get back earlier than expected. Still, two weeks ahead of schedule is notable.

The Avalanche have battled a ton of injuries this year, including with key players Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, Artturi Lehkonen, Evan Rodrigues, Josh Manson, Bowen Byram and Darren Helm. Nichushkin, Lehkonen and Rodrigues have since returned, but the Avs are still waiting on the others.

Colorado currently sits with a 17-11-2 record and 36 points, good for the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference playoff standings. The defending Stanley Cup champions could get hot at any point, and the addition of MacKinnon sooner rather than later would obviously help.

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