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Bigras Close To Returning

by Samantha Poulos / Colorado Avalanche

Rookie defenseman Chris Bigras was a full participant at the Colorado Avalanche’s practice on Monday. It was his first time back on the ice since suffering a head injury just over a week ago.

“I’m feeling better,” Bigras said. “There’s still a couple of steps left in the whole process, but it felt good to be back on the ice today.”

Since Bigras was recalled from the San Antonio Rampage on Jan. 13, he has skated in 23 games with the Avalanche. He made his NHL debut against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 14 and scored his first goal on March 1 at the Minnesota Wild.

Chris Bigras

“It’s never fun to sit out,” the first-year pro said of his minor setback. “I tried to watch a couple of the games and learn a few things while I was out and get my rest and recover.”

Bigras last played against the Nashville Predators on March 5 and has missed the past three contests.

“It was a pretty innocent play. It wasn’t a huge hit or anything, but sometimes those things just happen to get you in the wrong spot,” he said on how he obtained the injury. “The important thing now is that I’m feeling better and it is getting better, and I hope to return pretty soon.”

Head coach Patrick Roy said Bigras still has to pass one more test before he is available to play in a game, but he mentioned that the young blueliner's return could come as soon as Wednesday at the Vancouver Canucks.

However while one defenseman returned to the ice, another did not.

Tyson Barrie took a maintenance day on Monday, resting up a hamstring he hurt in Winnipeg on Saturday.

“There’s no need for him to go on the ice today at this time of the year,” Roy said. “[We] just want to make sure he’s 100 percent when we play the Canucks next game.”

After having an off day on Sunday, the practice was the team’s second to last of the week at Family Sports Center in Centennial. The Avs head to Western Canada for six days after Tuesday morning's practice session.

“Today, we worked [on] our tracking,” Roy said of Monday’s agenda. “Guys came here to work hard, and obviously, we are going to have another practice tomorrow before going to Vancouver, but we look forward to that game.”

Colorado takes on the Canucks on Wednesday, the Calgary Flames on Friday and the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Roy confirmed that Semyon Varlamov would play in Vancouver on Wednesday and Calgary on Friday. Calvin Pickard will get the start in Edmonton on Sunday.

On the possibility of future roster moves, the coach also noted that at this point the team has no intention of calling up an additional forward from San Antonio.

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