Forward dogged by injuries this season

Updated: April 21, 2004, 2:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DENVER -- Colorado forward Paul Kariya will be out indefinitely after spraining his ankle Sunday in the regular-season finale against Nashville, the Avalanche said Monday.

Colorado will open the playoffs Wednesday against Dallas, but Kariya will not play.

The Avalanche refused to speculate on how long the player would be out of action but said he would be re-evaluated later in the week.

Kariya played only 51 regular-season games, finishing with 11 goals and 25 assists. He missed 31 games with a wrist injury earlier in the year.

The speedy forward was signed to a free-agent contract with Colorado last summer along with former Anaheim Mighty Ducks teammate Teemu Selanne.

The Avalanche expected big scoring out of the duo, but Selanne in particular struggled for much of the season. Kariya helped him end a 19-game pointless streak last week by assisting on his first goal in 20 games.

Kariya accepted a modest salary and a one-year contract from the Avs so he would have a chance to win a Stanley Cup.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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