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Matt Duchene is probable Thursday

Mar 15, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT

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Matt Duchene Getty Images

Matt Duchene has gone from being projected to missing three-to-four weeks when he injured his ankle injury just nine days ago to being probable for Thursday’s game.

“His ankle was feeling better, so he skated (Tuesday) for about 40 minutes on his own,” Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said on Wednesday. “The plan is to play him tomorrow night if all goes accordingly.”

If Duchene returns, he will probably play alongside Peter Mueller and Milan Hejduk.

Colorado has been hot lately and the return of Duchene will help them stay strong as they fight for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. They currently hold the eighth seed and have a two-point lead on the San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, and Los Angeles Kings. The problem is that Colorado has played in two more games than Calgary and Los Angeles and three more games than San Jose. So it’s fair to say that the Avalanche need to keep winning if they want to stay ahead of the pack. They’ll try to do just that when they take on the New Jersey Devils.

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