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Mueller Returns To The Ice

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
In a very encouraging sign, injured Avalanche forward Peter Mueller was on the ice briefly Wednesday morning at Family Sports Center.

The Bloomington, Minn., native skated for a few minutes prior to the Avalanche’s practice, marking the first time he’s been on the ice since September. Mueller has not played this season as he recovers from a concussion suffered in a preseason game against the St. Louis Blues on Sept. 22.

“It’s a good sign,” said Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco. “There’s obviously no timetable at all set for his return, but he’s certainly making progress and heading in the right direction.”

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The 22-year-old was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes at last season’s trade deadline and went on to post 20 points (9g/11a) with a +4 rating in 15 games with the Avalanche. He missed the final four games of the regular season and all six of Colorado’s playoff contests after sustaining a concussion on April 4 against the San Jose Sharks.

Also on the ice with Mueller early this morning were Peter Forsberg and David Jones, the latter of whom suffered a shoulder injury during the second period of Colorado’s game against Phoenix last Wednesday. Jones was on the ice testing his shoulder this morning, but is still listed as out indefinitely.

Forsberg Update
While the Avalanche’s players were either enjoying the All-Star Game festivities in Raleigh or taking some time to relax during the break, Forsberg was hard at work.

“There was no break for me, I’ve been skating every day and working out,” said Forsberg. “Today was a good practice. A decision will be in the near future, so I’ll just keep on skating here for the next couple days and make a decision really quick.”

The Avalanche had a tough, hour-long practice this morning and Forsberg had already been on the ice for 30-40 minutes before being joined by Colorado’s players, so it was no surprise that the Swedish forward was a bit winded afterward.

“I hadn’t had a real practice in like, nine months, so today was the first five-on-five,” said Forsberg. “You can ask any athlete. When you get out there with professionals – with real guys who have been skating and practicing the whole year – yes, it goes fast.”

Sacco also briefly touched on Forsberg’s performance today, saying that in his eyes, the player had a solid day.

“He made it through the full practice today, which is a good sign. I thought he worked extremely hard out there,” said Sacco. “I thought he looked good today.”

O’Reilly Practices
Center Ryan O’Reilly, who has been sideline since sustaining a shoulder injury on Jan. 14 at Minnesota, also practiced with the team today and is questionable to return when the Avalanche hosts the Wild on Thursday at Pepsi Center.

O’Reilly had also traveled with the team during its brief road trip to St. Louis – a game that was canceled due to severe weather – but would not have been ready and available to play against the Blues if the contest had gone on as scheduled.

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