When workhorse goalie Craig Anderson went down with what seemed like a freak injury during a Colorado Avalanche pregame drill, many people (myself included) thought that the team was in huge trouble.
As it turns out, Peter Budaj stepped in and played pretty well. His record (5-3-1) is a little more impressive than his save percentage (a pedestrian 90.7), but the former Avs starter made the team look wise by keeping him around for another season. (Craig Anderson sports an identical 90.7 save percentage with a 3-4 record in 2010-11.)
All that being said, the Avalanche would surely like to have their 2009-10 backbone available to play again. While there is no telling how soon he will be back, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports that Anderson practiced and faced shots for the first time since injuring his knee today.
Obviously a welcome sight for Avs fans. I don’t know exactly when he’ll be back in the lineup, but can’t imagine it being much longer than a week assuming he’s back at full practice starting tomorrow.
Naturally, that’s a far-from-official stance from Dater, so we’ll keep you informed as Anderson tests out his knee an nears his return. He might have setbacks or could spend some time on a conditioning stint, but if Colorado can get him back soon, they would greatly improve their playoff chances in the tough-as-nails Western Conference.
Here is a short video of his first practice, via Dater’s blog post.