The fourth edition of the Colorado Avalanche of Injury reports comes with some bigger names added to this list after the most recent road trip to California. It, unfortunately, hasn’t gotten any easier or better with a pair of defensemen joining the list.
The first of the two defensemen on the list is Byram, who has missed the last two games due to an illness. While it’s not a physical body injury, his absence with whatever illness he’s still dealing with was certainly missed on the back end against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
Byram was skating earlier today at Family Sports Center as he gets back to full strength. He was not out for very long and was also seen breathing heavily, signaling he is still recovering from his bout with sickness as he aims to return sometime this week, hopefully.
Bo Byram is the first one out today. He has been out the last two games with an illness. #GoAvsGo #Avs @FullPressNHL pic.twitter.com/5pJ2VI1YR7— Brennan Vogt (@brennan_vogt) April 10, 2023
The other big name on defense has missed the last four games with a lower-body injury. It was initially prescribed as “no timeline for return,” scaring Avs fans and leaving them wondering what they’ll do without their great no. 8.
But, his status has changed to day-to-day, and has not been seen skating since his injury. However, TNT did show a quick shot of Makar on the bench doing some puck handling before the game against the Anaheim Ducks. His hands may not hurt and be perfectly fine, but whatever is nagging him below the belt hopefully heals and will create him to be available as the playoffs start next week.
Lehkonen is looking to be perhaps the closest to playing on this list. He’s been skating hard recently, first without a stick and now with a stick after recovering from the broken thumb he suffered against the Montreal Canadiens.
It has been reported the Avs will want to try and have Lehkonen play before the playoffs begin. Whether or not it actually happens is up to the hockey gods to decide, but it should be safe to say he’ll be ready - or at least as close to it as he can be - to push it in the playoffs.
Artturi Lehkonen has hit the ice with a stick in hand again. #GoAvsGo #Avs @FullPressNHL pic.twitter.com/Gt7Ms6ddNB— Brennan Vogt (@brennan_vogt) April 3, 2023
Manson has also been skating recently and just like everyone else on the list traveled with the team on this last road trip of the season. However, also just like everyone else on this list, he has been in a red non-contact jersey the entire time.
With half of the usual Avs defense out, Manson’s absence in particular has been felt for some time now. While Colorado has adapted and worked around it, his return will also be welcomed with open arms. Depending on how he does this final week of the season, he could push the issue into the playoffs.
Gabe Landeskog, Artturi Lehkonen and Josh Manson (all in red no contact sweaters) getting some work in beforehand. pic.twitter.com/UqdyV0tLar— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) April 6, 2023
Helm is the one player we don’t have very many updates on. He too was taken out of the lineup at the same time as Makar with another lower-body injury but unlike Cale, has no timeline to return.
With how many injuries Helm has faced this season and his age, they may just choose to shut him down for the year. Ben Meyers and Denis Malgin both proved this weekend their depth can be vital, so they may be used more instead. Regardless, this is just a sad time for Helm whatever ends up happening with him.
And finally, the captain of the Avalanche continues to work his way back. But, he won’t be back for at least the next week. He will miss the entire regular season, first reported by Elliotte Friedman and then confirmed by Jared Bednar and Bennett Durando of the Denver Post.
Just talked with Jared Bednar. Is it safe to say at this point Gabe Landeskog won’t play in regular season? “Yeah, unless he came to me and said he was ready, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case. He’s not (skating) with the team yet, so that’s a pretty safe bet.”— Bennett Durando (@BennettDurando) April 9, 2023
While it was always going to be a longshot the captain would come back from injury, this is and continues to be a blow without Landeskog in the lineup. He was on the trip but mostly just being a cheerleader and signing autographs from the press box in LA.
How awesome is this!— x - Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) April 9, 2023
Meanwhile poor Frankie just sitting all alone on his own with no attention on him…we love you Frankie! #GoAvsGo https://t.co/wmNpFIcgBM
I’d have to guess Landeskog is at about 70 percent in about his month-and-a-half of skating and recovering. Of course, if he was ready he would’ve played by now. But, knowing the captain of this team and missing his presence on the ice, on the bench, and in the locker room, he will want to play.
With the playoffs starting next week, I wouldn't put it beyond him to try and stick it out and play through the pain once again. However, he wouldn’t be at 100 percent until the second round. Bednar may hold him out until then too, for all we know.
Who knows what will happen? We just know he and Avs fans want him back.
Along with everyone else on this list, of course, as this regular season comes to a close. It’s going to come down to the wire, and any of these players able to come back as these games get even more important will be crucial in turning the Avs in the right direction.