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Compher Out with Lower-Body Injury

Forward has been unable to skate since the Avalanche's last game

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--Forward J.T. Compher won't be in the Colorado Avalanche's lineup on Thursday when the team returns to action to host the Boston Bruins at Pepsi Center.

Compher has yet to take the ice since playing in Saturday's contest against the Minnesota Wild due to a lower-body injury.

"I was kind of expecting him to skate this morning, but he came in feeling not as good as we hoped," said head coach Jared Bednar. "So we kept him off the ice today, so he won't play for us tomorrow. I don't know the extent of it or how long it is going to be, but we're just evaluating it day-by-day. It's been four days now, and he hasn't skated so he won't be an option for us tomorrow."

Compher had centered a line with a combination of Matt Nieto on one wing and Joonas Donskoi (first game) and Andre Burakovsky (second game) on the other. Tyson Jost filled Compher's role during Wednesday's practice at Family Sports Center with Nieto and Colin Wilson at his sides.

"That is the line combination that I'm looking at, what you saw in practice, but I still haven't made my final decision on that," Bednar said of Jost joining a unit with Nieto and Wilson, who has yet to play in a game this season after being slowed during training camp with a lower-body injury after having offseason shoulder surgery.

Donskoi and Burakovsky both moved to the wing on the Nazem Kadri-centered group during Wednesday's session.

COLE A POSSIBILITY

Ian Cole has been cleared to play as he was a full-contact participant for a second straight Avs practice, but Bednar didn't confirm if the veteran defenseman will play against the Bruins.

"He's available," Bednar said of Cole. "I haven't made my decision on our lineup as of yet, so I'm going to hold off on that one on whether is he going to play tomorrow or not."

Cole had offseason surgery on both of his hips and was thought to be out until December, but he could now return a full two months early, whenever that is.

The American was the last player off the ice on Wednesday, and he didn't say if he was going to play on Thursday. However, he noted that he wanted to get into the lineup "hopefully sooner rather than later."

"My job for the whole summer, the past five months, was to rehab and get back healthy as quick as possible," Cole said. "It wasn't to go on vacations and it wasn't to go to the beach and enjoy the summer, it was to rehab and get better as quick as possible. That was my whole goal this summer, and I think you see the results from that."

If Cole doesn't play, either Mark Barberio or Kevin Connauton will likely fill the sixth defenseman spot in the lineup alongside Ryan Graves. Barberio has yet to play this season, while Connauton was recalled from the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles after the Avalanche assigned rookie Conor Timmins to Loveland to get more playing time.

PRACTICE LINE COMBINATIONS

Forwards
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
72 Joonas Donskoi - 91 Nazem Kadri - 95 Andre Burakovsky
83 Matt Nieto - 17 Tyson Jost - 22 Colin Wilson
11 Matt Calvert - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 13 Valeri Nichushkin - 81 Vladislav Kamenev

Defensemen
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 44 Mark Barberio
28 Ian Cole - 7 Kevin Connauton

Goaltenders
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

Did Not Practice: J.T. Compher

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