Forsberg practices, but undecided about playing vs. Canucks

Updated: March 3, 2008, 8:15 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Peter Forsberg skated with long, effortless strides from blue line to blue line before firing off a laser wrist shot during practice Monday, his first workout with the Colorado Avalanche since signing last week.

Peter Forsberg

Forsberg

He looked like the Forsberg of old, but he hedged when asked about playing Tuesday against Northwest Division rival Vancouver.

"It's a game-time decision. We'll see tomorrow morning," Forsberg said.

The Avalanche could definitely use the Swedish forward after injuries to Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Svatos tore his ACL in the second period when he slid hard into the boards. He'll undergo surgery and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Smyth suffered a concussion and a minor shoulder separation after Kings defenseman Jack Johnson checked him into the padded glass partition near the Colorado bench. The Avalanche said Smyth won't return to the ice until he shows no lingering signs of the concussion.

Forsberg is nursing an injured right foot but surprised nearly everyone last week by signing a deal to return to Colorado, where he won two Stanley Cups and an MVP award in nine seasons.

The 34-year-old agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal but will be paid about $1 million on a prorated basis because only six weeks remained in the regular season when he agreed.

Forsberg said he would decide after Tuesday morning's skate whether he will play that night.

"It's going to be tough to sit out, but I have to realize I haven't played a game in eight months and I just had the one practice," he said.

Forsberg practiced on a line that included Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk.

Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said he agreed with Forsberg's timing but still held out hope.

"There is a chance he could play tomorrow," Quenneville said. "It's going to come from Peter because he knows his body a little better than us."

Adding to the pressure is that the low-scoring Avalanche are without their Svatos and Smyth, their fifth- and sixth-best scorers.

"Even though those two guys went down the last game, I have to be honest with myself that when I come back I have to be ready to come back and play 100 percent," said Forsberg, who acknowledged Monday that he wouldn't suit up only to skate on the power play. "I'm not going out to play not doing what I want to do."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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