Carlo Colaiacovo eager to get back in lineup soon

DETROIT – Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has had a rough go of it since signing with the Red Wings this offseason.

First he injured his left shoulder at the Spengler Cup on a hit by teammate Damien Brunner.

After recovering from that, Colaiacovo re-injured the same shoulder on a check against the boards in the Wings’ second game of the season.

“As frustrating as it is that I can’t be back right now, I’m feeling good,” Colaiacovo said Wednesday after practicing at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s obviously not moving as quickly as I would have like it, but I’m close. The beauty of this thing is that I’ve been able to keep my conditioning up to where it needs to be both on and off the ice.

“Once the shoulder feels ready to go I’ll be able to get right back in there,” Colaiacovo added. “I don’t want to put any timeline on myself. I just want to strive to get better every day, but I’m hoping within the next week to 10 days I’ll be back at full strength and be ready to go. That’s wishful thinking. Hopefully it’s a lot sooner than that. I’m not putting any pressure on myself, I want to make sure this thing is 100 percent because when I come back I’m staying back.”

Colaiacovo has yet to play more than 67 games in any season.

“The thing right now is I’m still having pain with a lot of the puck movements and I still haven’t been cleared for contact,” Colaiacovo said. “Once that happens, hopefully it happens sooner than later then I will have a clearer mindset of where I’m at.”

Colaiacovo said the original injury to his left shoulder had completely healed before starting the season.

“I had no issue when I came back after I hurt it at the Spengler,” Colaiacovo said. “When I came here my first day I wasn’t having any issues. Even when I first hurt it I was able to move, I wasn’t restricted. I was able to heal quick from it. This time here I knew it was a lot worse because I was feeling way more pain and I wasn’t able to do almost anything compared to the last time.

“There is no regrets, no second guessing, it was just an unfortunate incident,” Colaiacovo added. “There was nothing I could do to change the play. Stuff happens in the game when you’re playing full contact along boards that don’t move. It’s just unfortunate. I’ve been able to stay positive.”

Colaiacovo signed a two-year deal worth $2.5 million a season.

“It’s a tough year,” Colaiacovo said. “You have five months off because of the lockout. I go play at the Spengler because I’m so sick of doing nothing all I want to do is play hockey. Then something minor happens there. Then I finally get a chance to come to a new team, new opportunity, get a fresh start. I felt like I was doing that. I was playing great, feeling great, feeling good about myself and about this team and this happens. I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’m not going to let this hold me back or put me down. At the end of the day the thing that keeps me going is the love of the game. Watching us win games is a lot of fun, but playing in games that we win is a lot more fun. That’s something I’m looking and I’m hoping that’s sooner rather than later.”

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