Nathan MacKinnon Getty Colorado Avalanche
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Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon will miss four weeks due to an upper-body injury, according to an announcement from the team. MacKinnon suffered the injury during the first period of Monday's 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Following Monday's contest, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar stated that he had "no idea" how the injury occurred. MacKinnon was evaluated for the injury during the second intermission and wasn't able to return to the game.

MacKinnon is just the latest in a rash of injuries that have hit the Avalanche dressing room. The team is already missing forwards Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, and Artturi Lehkonen as well as defensemen Josh Manson and Bowen Byram. Landeskog is expected to be out until sometime next month as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery that he underwent in October.

"It's going to be a challenge," Bednar said on Monday after MacKinnon suffered the injury. "It's been a challenge for us. It seems to be getting worse at this point."

This comes just two months after MacKinnon signed an eight-year, $100.8 million contract extension with Colorado. The deal carries an average annual value of $12.6 million and makes him the highest-paid player in the NHL.

In 23 games this season, MacKinnon currently leads the Avalanche in points (34) and assists (26) while ranking second on the team in goals with eight. MacKinnon's 26 assists are currently tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov and the Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid for the league lead.

MacKinnon has also registered at least 88 assists in four of his last five season, including a career-high 99-point campaign during the 2018-19 season.