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Avs to get Hejduk (neck) back after missing five games

Mar 13, 2013, 7:19 PM EDT

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Milan Hejduk Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche will have a familiar face back in the lineup on Thursday when Milan Hejduk returns from a neck injury to face the Wild.

Hedjuk, 37, has been out of action since taking a hard check against Columbus on Mar. 3.

“I woke up and I couldn’t move,” Hejduk said told the Denver Post.

The former Colorado captain skated on a line with Paul Statsny and Gabriel Landeskog at practice on Wednesday. It’s unclear if that trio will stick together, as David Jones has primarily skated alongside Stastny on right wing this year.

Hejduk has appeared in 20 games for the Avs this year, scoring 3G-6A-9PTS while averaging just over 13 minutes per game.

His situation will be one worth monitoring as we get closer to the Apr. 3 trade deadline.

Even though he’s spent his entire career in Denver, his best years are behind him and he has a no-movement clause, Hejduk could be an interesting acquisition for teams looking to add veteran savvy for the playoffs.

He’s a UFA at season’s end and clearly has a diminished role in Colorado. What’s more, the Avs sit 14th in the Western Conference and are in danger of missing the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

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