Avalanche’s Zadorov out for the season after injuring ankle in practice

Defenseman Nikita Zadorov is out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury after he collided with forward Mikko Rantanen during practice, the team announced.

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The Colorado Avalanche’s nightmare season continued Monday.

Defenseman Nikita Zadorov is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured ankle after he collided with forward Mikko Rantanen during practice, the team announced.

“He got tangled up with Mikko,” coach Jared Bednar told the Avalanche team website. “He actually fell on top of Mikko, but his leg got trapped underneath Mikko and he fell awkwardly.”

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Zadorov is Colorado’s team leader in hits with 153. His physical style of play has been one of the few bright spots in a miserable Avalanche season.

Zadorov’s injury occurred just as defenseman Erik Johnson is close to making his return from a broken leg. Johnson broke his leg Dec. 3 blocking a shot against the Stars. The injury has forced him to miss 33 games.

The Avalanche are last in the NHL in goals against average. They are giving up 3.3 per game and have the fewest points (35) in the NHL by a comfortable margin. They next play the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday at the Pepsi Center.

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at cclark@denverite.com.