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Sakic Skates Prior to Practice

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
In a welcome sight, Avalanche captain Joe Sakic was on the ice this morning before the rest of the team went through its morning skate at Pepsi Center.

It marked the first time Sakic has skated since he left Colorado’s Nov. 28 contest at Phoenix with a back injury. The 20-year NHL veteran was placed on Injured Reserve five days later and underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back on Jan. 7.

Prior to re-aggravating his back against the Coyotes, Sakic had missed six of seven games from Nov. 6-22. He then sat out a Nov. 24 game in Anaheim with an infected tooth, but played over 15 minutes on Nov. 26 vs. St. Louis.

While Sakic didn’t speak to reporters this morning, Avalanche head coach Tony Granato stated that his captain’s goal remains the same - to return to the lineup before the end of the regular season.

“Joe wants to play, so I’d like to see Joe, obviously, get in good enough shape and feel good enough to get back on the ice in a game,” said Granato. “That’s been his goal since the injury. It was great to see him out on the ice.”

There is still no definitive date set for Sakic’s return, but Granato laid out a general timeline of events.

“He’ll probably skate on his own for a few days and we’ll make the decision on when he joins us in practice,” stated the Avalanche head coach. “But I think for everybody it’s exciting, as always, to see him back in equipment, back out on the ice.”

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