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Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon out 3 weeks with lower-body injury

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon out 3 weeks with lower-body injury
Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, shown March 15, 2018, suffered the lower-body injury during Saturday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon will miss about three weeks after the star center suffered a lower-body injury during a game over the weekend.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said Wednesday that MacKinnon sustained the injury in the team's matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Bednar then provided a three-week timeline for MacKinnon's return.

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"Big loss for us, but we've had quite a few injuries already throughout the course of the season. It's a next-man-up mentality," Avs defenseman and alternate captain Erik Johnson told reporters. "You miss one of the best players in the league, but you just have to keep battling and do the best we can without him."

MacKinnon was forced to miss the first two games of the 2021-22 season due to the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. Now, the former first-round draft pick will miss additional time because of the lower-body ailment.

The 26-year-old MacKinnon has appeared in eight games this season. He is tied for the team lead in points with 10, but he has just one goal and is skating to a minus-3 rating.

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The Avalanche, among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup before the season began, have a 4-5-1 record entering their game against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

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