Nathan MacKinnon expected to return to Avalanche lineup against Maple Leafs

Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon (29). (Ashley Landis/AP)

After missing the last eight games with a lower-body injury, Nathan MacKinnon is expected to make his return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, according to head coach Jared Bednar.

MacKinnon suffered the injury at the start of November in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and was only able to make his return to practice on Monday. At this time, the Avalanche have not activated MacKinnon from the injured reserve, the final step needed before he is officially back in the lineup.

The world-class centre has one goal and nine assists in eight games played so far this season.

Colorado went 7-1-0 while MacKinnon was sidelined with this lower-body injury.

In Toronto, the Avalanche will face a Maple Leafs team that's among the hottest in all of hockey, winning four straight and nine of its last 10.

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