Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene has revealed that he suffered a grade one separation in his shoulder prior to Team Canada’s first round robin game at the World Cup of Hockey.
Speaking to The Denver Post, the 25-year-old said he suffered the injury in training, which involved a slight displacement of the AC joint.
“It’s one of those things, it doesn’t get worse when you play with it. It’s just painful. It’s going to linger for a bit, but it’s feeling good. I just got bumped in practice. It was weird, it was a bad-luck injury. That was it.”
Duchene skated on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon at training on Monday, and is apparently pain free again.
“The first day was the worst,” he said. “After that… I think I’ve played through worse. I’ve played through better, for sure. It wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t affect me all tournament. Obviously, the first time you go out, you’re a little tentative on it, but after that, it’s just fine. I feel good.”
Selected third overall by the Avalanche in 2009, Duchene has scored 156 goals and 377 points in 495 career NHL games for the franchise, who are hoping to rebound from a disappointing season under new head coach Jared Bednar.
Duchene is likely to be a big part of that recovery, having led the team in both goals and points last season, and believes he will remain on MacKinnon’s right wing to start the year.
“It looks like I’ll probably start there. Obviously, I can play right wing and center, so I’m equally as comfortable now. I played most of last year at right wing and I know what I’m doing, I’m down low, I can still take draws. I’ll kind of be a hybrid probably this year.”