The Colorado Avalanche said on Thursday that centre Matt Duchene won't require surgery, but his ankle injury is bad enough to require three to four weeks on the sidelines.
The latest blow continues a frustrating season for the third year forward, who was selected third overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Duchene has just 13 goals and 13 assists in 48 games this season, and previously missed time with a knee injury.
He compiled 67 points in 2010-11.
Colorado is 7-3-0 in the last 10, giving them the same amount of points as San Jose and Los Angeles. The Sharks are eighth, the Kings ninth and the Avalanche 10th in the West based on standings tiebreakers.