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Avalanche's Duchene skates for first time since injury

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent / Avalanche-Wild series blog

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Avalanche's Duchene skates for first time since injury

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene skated on his own during the morning skate Monday prior to Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

It was Duchene's first time on the ice since sustaining an injury to the MCL in his left knee March 29 against the San Jose Sharks.

Duchene missed the final eight games of the regular season with the ailment, but still led the Avalanche with 47 assists and 70 points this season.

"It was part of the process," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "The trainer thought it was a good time for him to start skating today. We'll go day-to-day with him."

Duchene is still expected to miss the remainder of the series against the Wild, but the news is certainly good if Colorado is able to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Avalanche lead the series against Minnesota 2-0.

"On the skating, if he improves, eventually we'll see if he can get involved with practices and we'll see after that," Roy said.

Roy also said forward John Mitchell will begin exercising soon as he recovers from a concussion sustained April 10 against the Vancouver Canucks. He was not on the ice Monday, but is on the trip and could return late in the series if he continues progressing. He played in 75 games in the regular season, scoring 11 goals and 32 points. He was also a plus-13.

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