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 in Colorado's 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
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.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) February 18, 2023
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 after the game.
“(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 the symptoms had a delayed onset, as was the case when Makar was concussed on Feb. 7, 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.
Jared Bednar said Cale Makar passed all concussion protocols to return to play before the STL game, but the coach added “let’s face it” the two head injuries are related.
Bednar said that, during the STL game, “his nose is why he left the ice.” #Avs https://t.co/g5vICv4f6B
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) February 21, 2023
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 Nichushkin 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.