Nathan MacKinnon's decision to come to the defense of his teammates may end up proving quite costly for the Colorado Avalanche. Aves coach Jared Bednar revealed that MacKinnon will not be on the ice for Tuesday night's clash against the Calgary Flame as a result of a hand injury he sustained during a fight on Sunday night against the Minnesota Wild. Bednar went as far as to admit that there was a “high” level of concern regarding the superstar center's hand, via Bleacher Report.

During Sunday's clash against the Wild, Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba delivered a hard hit in the head area of Aves star Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon saw the hit go down and immediately rushed over to defend Rantanen, dropping gloves and delivering some devastating punches to the face of Dumba. While MacKinnon was the clear winner of the fight, it seems he may have lost the war, having sustained an injury as a result of ravaging Dumba's face with his bare fists.

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Bednar revealed that MacKinnon would be returning to Colorado in order to undergo further evaluation on the injury, which the head coach said was “possible” was sustained during the fight against Dumba. The Avalanche are officially ruling MacKinnon out with an “upper-body injury,” though it's been reported that his ailing hand is what's holding him out, per Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.

MacKinnon is the heart and soul of the Avalanche, and the argument can be made that he's the NHL's best player. On the year, the 26-year-old has 70 points across 51 games, having scored 22 goals and contributed 48 assists. His 70 points rank 18th in the NHL, despite having missed more than 15 games.