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Practice Report: Sakic Joins Team on Ice

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic participated in his first practice with the team Tuesday since being injured in Colorado’s Nov. 30 contest at San Jose. The center, who has missed Colorado’s last 36 games, is getting close to returning after undergoing hernia surgery on Dec. 28.

Joining Sakic on the ice was leading scorer Paul Stastny (appendectomy/groin), who is also aiming for a return after missing Colorado’s past 14 contests.

The Avalanche begins a five-game road swing Wednesday night in Anaheim.

“We expect them both to play at some point on the trip,” Avalanche Head Coach Joel Quenneville said of the duo. “Paul’s close and Joe, hopefully after a couple days of practice we’ll get a clear indication.”

Neither Sakic nor Stastny were ready to play prognosticator and nail down an exact date for their respective returns.

“We don’t really have a timetable. We’re going to see how it progresses and if things get better, you never know. But right now there’s no real date.” said Sakic. “The last couple of days I’ve been going pretty hard. Obviously it’s still tight, but you have to work through that.”

Like Sakic, Stastny wouldn’t venture a guess as to when his return would come.

“I don’t want to predict, because last time I did, it didn’t turn out too well,” quipped Stastny. “If I have to wait one more [game], I’ll wait one more. I want to stay healthy so I can play the rest of the year.”

Between the Pipes
Peter Budaj will get the starting nod in goal against Anaheim. Budaj carries a 15-9-3 record with a 2.65 goals-against average and .902 save percentage into Wednesday’s contest against the Ducks.
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