Erik Johnson Cleared For Contact

The Colorado Avalanche got a key player back in Ryan O’Reilly on Sunday. From the look of things, important defenseman Erik Johnson might not be too far behind.

Johnson was cleared for contact and practiced hard on Sunday, according to the Denver Post. He’s been sidelined with a head injury since Feb. 11.

The 24-year-old blueliner was having a disappointing season (at least offensively) before getting hurt, as he failed to score a goal and had just one assist in 11 games. Still, he’s a big part of the Avalanche defense, averaging about 21 minutes per game the last two seasons.

It sounds like Johnson has an outside chance at playing against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, although it’s likely that he’ll need some more time.

Fellow defenseman Ryan Wilson (ankle) also practiced on Sunday. Technically, there’s no timetable for a return for either blueliner, although both are traveling with the team.

For more on this story visit: James O’Brien, NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk

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