Danny Cleary: “I’m going to play for sure (Game 1).”

DETROIT — Danny Cleary will play Game 1 Wednesday night in Nashville, despite missing the final two games of the regular season with a nagging knee injury.

“I’m going to play for sure,” Cleary said. “When you’ve practiced there’s no pain medication or pain reliever involved in practiced, so it feels a little in a game.

“There’s nothing I can really do,” Cleary added. “The rest helps a lot to bring down the swelling but once you get back on the ice, it’s pretty sore.”

Cleary will have knee surgery after the season to repair a tear in his left knee.

Cleary said he’ll have a pain killing shot before each game. He’s also had three Synvisc injections and the doctor won’t know until third week of April before it fully sets in.

“That’s the light at the end of the tunnel,” Cleary said. “I’ve got bone-on-bone rubbing, which is causing a lot of swelling, a lot of fluid, that’s why I get the Baker’s cysts in the back that get drained every 10 days. There’s a few things going on.”

After estimating he’s at 50 percent, he said, “It’s hard to gauge, until you get going in a playoff series. A lot of people play with different things, injuries. Sometimes the situation can alleviate a little bit of pain. Pain medication will help a lot.”

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