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Duchene "Hopeful" For Game One

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche received some good news on the injury front Monday, as Matt Duchene was back on the ice this morning at Family Sports Center.

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The rookie missed Colorado’s regular season finale Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings, the result of a torso injury he suffered on April 7 in Edmonton. Duchene tried to play through the injury during Friday night’s contest against Chicago, but did not come back to the bench once the second period began.

The Haliburton, Ontario native was sent to the hospital and was held overnight for precautionary reasons before being released Saturday morning.

Only a few players skated today, but Duchene is expected to join his teammates for a full practice tomorrow before the club hits the road to open their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the San Jose Sharks.

“He responded well after the skate, and he will practice with us tomorrow,” said Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco. “Right now I’m hopeful that he’ll be available for Wednesday night.”

Duchene’s linemate, Peter Mueller, is also showing progress and inching his way closer to a return. Although he’s still listed as day-to-day, the forward went through his first bit of light activity this morning. Mueller suffered a concussion after absorbing a hit from San Jose’s Rob Blake on April 4, and had not been able to exercise until today. The Bloomington, Minn., native worked out for approximately 20 minutes off the ice, and Sacco reported that he did well.

Jones Update
David Jones still isn’t quite ready to return to the lineup, as Sacco declared following practice that the forward will not be available for Game One on Wednesday night in San Jose.

But both Sacco and Jones himself said there are continual signs of progress in his recovery from ACL surgery.

“It’s getting better every day.  I’m hoping to get in there soon, but it’s not quite there yet,” said Jones. “I can do a lot of things that are normal. There are just a few things that aren’t clicking that I need to be to play as well as I can.”

The toughest thing now for the Guelph, Ontario native is not being able to play during the most exciting time of the season.

“It’s killing me. I want to be out there so bad, especially playoff time,” said Jones. “It’s frustrating but I’m getting close, so it’s nice to be out there practicing with the team and be a part of it all.”
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