Cale Makar has entered concussion protocol for the second time in as many weeks, Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar confirmed on Tuesday via Altitude Sports Radio.
The superstar blueliner suffered the injury during his first game back from a 11-day stint in concussion protocol, with the Avalanche taking on the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis.
The fleet-footed defender incidentally collided with Blues forward Alexei Toropchenko, forcing Makar to briefly exit — though reportedly not at the behest of concussion spotters — before eventually returning for the remainder of the game.
At the time, Makar reportedly didn’t experience any symptoms, telling reporters following the game that he thought he had been clipped on the nose by his visor, resulting in a bruise and bloody nose. Bednar expressed a similar sentiment at the time on Saturday postgame in St. Louis.
“(Makar’s) stick got tangled up high and it gave him a bloody nose. He went off and just got looked at real quick,” he said Saturday. “Checked out the nose and then he was back. So, no real problems coming out of that, which is good.”
During his radio hit on Tuesday, however, Bednar outlined that, as had been the case when Makar was concussed on Feb. 7th, the symptoms had a delayed onset, and that the Avalanche would continue to monitor him. The high-flying defenseman is expected to be sidelined through at least Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.
The Avalanche have been amongst the league’s most battered and bruised teams this season, with Makar joining a laundry list of important names including Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Valeri Nikushkin having missed significant time throughout this season.
Despite those injuries, the Avalanche have largely weathered the storm this year, currently perched in third place in the Central Division. Without Makar this season, in particular, Colorado has been an astonishing 7-1-1 according to Statmuse.
Regardless, there’s little doubt Makar’s absence will be felt. The reigning Norris Trophy winner has 13 goals and 45 points in 46 games this season, tops amongst all Avalanche defenders, despite the injury struggles.