Is Cale Makar playing tonight? Injury details, return date, latest news for Avalanche defenseman

The Avalanche have been one of the teams hit the hardest with the injury bug, and Cale Makar is the latest player to miss time. 

Makar has been out the last week with an upper-body injury. He last played on Jan. 16 in the Avalanche’s game against the Red Wings, but has subsequently missed the last four games. 

“Just trying to progress,” Makar said after practice on Jan. 23. “It sucks being out of the lineup. I don’t like watching games very much. Unfortunately, you just have to take the right precautions at this time of the season to make sure these issues don’t come back lingering. Sometimes these things take a little bit of time.”

Makar, 24, is putting together another excellent season. The reigning Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe winner has been a point-per-game player for Colorado this year, eating up more minutes on the ice than any other player in the league. 

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Here are the latest updates on Makar’s injury. 

What is Cale Makar’s injury?

Makar’s exact injury is unknown at this point. It is being deemed as an “upper-body” injury. 

Makar has been skating for the past week in a full contact uniform and has been considered a”game-time decision” for the team’s last two games.

Whatever the injury is, it has not stopped him from practicing like normal, however, the team has held him out of game action. 

“It’s just taking a little bit of time,” Makar said before the game against the Capitals. “It’s tough. I want to be playing. But I’ve got to take the right precautions right now, especially.” 

When will Cale Makar return?

It is likely that Makar finally makes his return to the Colorado lineup on Thursday against Anaheim. He was in a regular jersey at morning skater and said he’s “good to go”.

That doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he is in. He practiced in full ahead of the Avs’ game on Tuesday against the Capitals, skated in pregame warmups, but did not suit up for the game.

He was also a late scratch for the Avs in their Jan. 21 game against the Kraken. 

Cale Makar stats 2022-23

Makar isn’t scoring at the rate he was last season, but is still averaging over a point per game with 43 in 42 contests. 

His 43 points rank fifth among all defensemen in the league this season and his 13 goals are tied for third. Only Erik Karlsson and Rasmus Dahlin have more goals than Makar this year. 

Makar also is the league leader in time on ice, averaging 27:09 per game. It’s nearly a full minute more than the next-closest player, which is Drew Doughty at 26:14. 

Games Goals Assists Points +/- PPP
42 13 30 43 7 21

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