Reigning MVP has 19 points in 11 games

Updated: December 27, 2003, 9:33 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche star Peter Forsberg returned to the lineup Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers after missing 19 games with a groin and abdominal injury.

Forsberg, last season's NHL MVP, had five goals and 11 assists in the first nine games, but missed three straight games with an injury that runs up through his leg into his abdomen. He had three assists in two games after coming back, but didn't play after Colorado's 4-3 win over Chicago on Nov. 9.

Forsberg went through his first full practice on Monday and took part in Colorado's morning skate Friday, but didn't play in a 3-3 tie against St. Louis that night.

Forsberg entered Saturday's game with a seven-game point streak and had a point in all but two games this season. He led the league with 106 points and 77 assists last season to become the first Swedish player to win the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's MVP in the regular season.

Colorado was 9-5-7-1 without Forsberg.

The Avalanche also are hoping to get left wing Paul Kariya back soon. He's missed 17 straight games and 27 of 29 with a sprained wrist.

Kariya and Teemu Selanne were supposed to make the Avalanche one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup after signing on the same day this offseason, but they've played just seven games together.

Colorado has lost 167 man-games to injuries, but still entered Saturday's game third in the Northwest Division with 40 points, six behind Vancouver.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press