Helm doubtful for opener; Samuelsson improving

PLYMOUTH — Darren Helm (back) missed the third day of camp and is doubtful for Saturday night’s opener in St. Louis.

“Each day has been a little bit better, so I really don’t know when I’ll be on the ice,” Helm said. “Just day-by-day, play it by ear.

“Probably pretty doubtful to play,” Helm added when asked about opener. “Still have to get on the ice first. That’s probably a couple days away.”

Helm hasn’t skated since last Thursday and hasn’t had another test since an MRI on Sunday.

“I can’t really lift anything up right now, can’t bend over too well,” Helm said. “I’ll have to tie my skates before I skate around. It is hurting. It’s a small injury but bugs me quite a bit. I have to make sure I can actually skate before I go out there.”

Helm said this is his first back injury.

“I’m just kind of listening to what they’re saying and trusting them, like I’ve done before,” Helm said. “Just being really cautious with it and when it’s ready it’s ready. It’s a short season. Obviously, I’ve got to get back quickly but I can’t rush it and be out for another 3-4 weeks. I’ve got to be smart with it.”

Helm has been on the wrong end of a rash of injuries of late.

On March 17, he missed the final 10 regular season games with a sprained MCL. Then, in his first game back, the playoff opener against Nashville, he had tendons in his forearm sliced by a skate. He was also hit by a puck on Nov. 2 during an informal skate in Troy, breaking an orbital bone.

“I’ve been watching a lot of games, been sidelined for a year and a bit with different types of injuries,” Helm said. “It is a bit frustrating, but hoping it’s sooner or later.”

Mikael Samuelsson said an ultrasound revealed nothing on his injured groin.

“It’s a minor, minor thing,” Samuelsson said. “It’s not a big deal, but you don’t want to start like this.”

Samuelsson said it’s very possible he’ll be on the ice Thursday and feels he’ll be ready for the opener.

“I will be ready for Saturday if the coach wants me,” Samuelsson said.

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