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Nathan MacKinnon to miss weeks with upper-body injury

MacKinnon’s injury is worse than originally expected

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

When we were first updated on the condition of Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon, it was hoped that he would only miss a game or two. Coach Jared Bednar called the injury “day-to-day”, but offered little information about the injury.

After flying home to Denver to be re-evaluated by team doctors, we now know that Nathan MacKinnon could be out of the Avalanche lineup for up to a month.

This afternoon, the Avs’ official Twitter account sent the update that the NHL’s second leading scorer has a timeline of 2-4 weeks before he will be back in game action. There still hasn’t been an official diagnosis, but we can tell from his reaction on the bench Tuesday night that MacKinnon hurt something in the area of his left shoulder.

“It’s not a great feeling when you lose a guy like that because of what he means to our team, but I’m excited for the opportunity it presents other guys. We need other guys to step up.” - Jared Bednar

Mackinnon has 61 points through 49 games this season and has put himself in the conversation as a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate. It’s clear that this is a huge blow to the team and their playoff chances.

The offensive burden is now going to fall on guys like Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, if the Avalanche want to keep close to a Western Conference wildcard spot. Going forward it looks like the Avalanche are going to rely on rookies Alex Kerfoot and Tyson Jost to fill the the top-6 center roles.