The good news is the injury list for the Colorado Avalanche has been whittled down a little bit with the returns of Erik Johnson and Cale Makar.
But those missing players are pretty important pieces.
I got to morning skate early on Friday, and when I arrived, Pavel Francouz was in full gear. He had just gotten off the ice after a training session goaltending coach Jussi Parkkila.
It was the first time I had seen him in pads in weeks, but it turns out, it wasn’t his first time skating. His return does not appear to be imminent, though.
“No, he’s skated the last few days,” Bednar said after morning skate Friday. “He’s hit and miss too, though. No timeline.”
It’s a good sign to see Francouz on the ice, at least. He was diagnosed with a lower-body injury on Feb. 13 and has not played a game since Feb. 7. In the playoffs last year, Francouz was crucial to the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup, as he filled in whenever Darcy Kuemper had to leave due to an eye injury. Alexandar Georgiev has been terrific, but a good backup would allow him to get some rest.
Francouz has been limited to just 15 games this season due to injury.
Josh Manson, however, has not started skating yet. The hulking defenseman missed over two months with a lower body injury, and after returning for six games in February, left the lineup again on March 1 with the same injury.
“Working in the gym,” Bednar said of Manson. “Trying to get ready to be able to hit the ice. Still don’t have a timeline.”
Bednar said they have no idea when Manson will hit the ice again. Earlier in March, Bednar had said they hoped to get Manson back by the end of the month, but that does not appear to be likely at this point.
Evan Rodrigues skated with the team in a contact jersey on Friday morning, but will not play on Friday. He’s still going through protocol. There’s nothing new to report on Artturi Lehkonen, as he’s still on the 4-6 week injury timeline from when he had surgery. He’s been around the team with a cast on his hand.
Gabriel Landeskog is still “not close.”
Stay tuned to CHN for injury updates as they come in.