Mar 8, 2012, 11:06 AM EDT
The injury occurred Tuesday during a 7-1 blowout of the Wild. Duchene was tripped up by Minnesota’s Nick Palmieri late in the third period and rolled his right ankle — he had to be helped from the ice and didn’t return to the contest.
While there’s no word on the injury’s severity, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports Duchene won’t require surgery, meaning he’s got a chance of returning before the end of the regular season.
That said, the loss is still a critical one for the Avalanche, currently sitting in a three-way tie for eighth in the West with 74 points (at the time of writing, only seven points separated teams seven-through-12.) Duchene had been skating with Mark Olver and Peter Mueller on an effective third line and led Colorado in scoring last season with 67 points, the youngest player in franchise history to achieve that feat.
As mentioned above, this has been a forgettable season for Duchene in terms of health. The 21-year-old missed 20 games earlier this season with a knee injury and is on pace for career lows in every significant statistical category.
Update: Duchene addressed the injury via his Twitter account.
- It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT 20
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 36
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 49
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 33
- Different tune: Moore hasn’t settled with Bertuzzi, says brother 27
- Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes 26
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 52
- Under pressure: Rick Nash 10
- Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky 41
- Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move) 6