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P.A. Parenteau to miss six weeks with a sprained MCL

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The Colorado Avalanche got a scare Sunday night when forward P.A. Parenteau left their game (a 2-1 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets) with a knee injury. Luckily for them, it was not as bad as they originally feared.

The original thought was that Parenteau may have torn a ligament in his knee when he twisted it in an awkward fall; but an MRI Monday morning revealed nothing more than a second-degree MCL sprain.

Instead of being lost for the season, Parenteau will miss approximately six weeks, and could return before the Olympic break in mid Feb.

"It was kind of a fluke injury," said linemate Paul Stastny. "He's one of those guys who hasn't been hurt a lot in his career. When one person goes down, you juggle the lines and have other guys step up. We can't hang our heads or feel bad for ourselves. We just have to keep going."

As they did n Sunday’s game following the injury; the Avalanche are expected to put rookie Nathan MacKinnon on to Stastny’s line with Gabriel Landeskog in place of Parenteau.

"We're used to each other's tendencies, so it should go pretty smooth," said MacKinnon. “Playing right wing is nothing different for me. It's not a big deal switching positions."

Parenteau has yet to miss a game for the Avs since signing a four-year contract prior to last season. This year he is fourth in team scoring with 24 points in 38 games.

He joins winger Alex Tanguay (who is nursing injuries to his knee and groin) on injured reserve for an Avalanche club that has managed to stay relatively healthy.

"Hard for me to explain more than this regarding the injury," said coach Patrick Roy. "I think we've been pretty lucky so far. We haven't been hit too (hard) by injuries. I think we've been more lucky than anything else."

Brad Malone will take Parenteau’s place in the Avalanche lineup when they return to action Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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