Howard out at least a week; Gustavsson, Ericsson ready to return

DETROIT – Quick update from Detroit Red Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday as they prepare to take on the reigning Stanley Cup champs, the Chicago Blackhawks, Wednesday night.

Jimmy Howard didn’t practice after re-injuring his left knee during Monday’s 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, midway through the second period.

Howard was in getting treatment and said he has fluid on his knee and that he didn’t think the injury was as serious as the MCL sprain he suffered last month.

He injured the knee making a save in the first period on a Blues’ power play.

“As the game went on in the second period it just got stiffer and stiffer,” Howard said. “I’m hoping short term. It’s not as serious as it last time in Tampa.”

Howard, who will get re-evaluated in a week, missed eight games after suffering the MCL sprain during practice.

“First and foremost is getting the knee healthy for this organization,” said Howard, who added he wasn’t concerned about missing the Olympics. “It is frustrating. You’re moving in the right direction, you feel you’re doing all the right things and we were doing all the right things. It’s just bad luck, I guess.”

Howard is just another player to be added to the list of injured Wings.

“It’s tough to even put it into words,” Howard said when asked about the injuries that just keep piling up in the locker room. “I’ve never seen something like this before. It’s important for all of us to continue to have a good attitude and then try to get back as fast as possible.”

Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body), Johan Franzen (concussion) and Daniel Alfredsson (back) all skated, but won’t play Wednesday. Joakim Andersson (lower body), Cory Emmerton (finger) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) are also out.

Jonathan Ericsson (broken ribs) is expected to return Wednesday.

A number of other players – Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Cleary, Kyle Quincey and Patrick Eaves – were given the day off, but will play Wednesday.

Jonas Gustavsson (groin) has been cleared to return and will start Wednesday against the Blackhawks.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good for a few days now,” Gustavsson said. “I think we wanted to take a couple more days to make sure I would get some good practices in and see how my body reacted to that. It’s been good so far and hopefully my body can stay like that. It’ll be good to be on the ice instead of being off the ice.”

Gustavsson has missed the last nine games with a groin injury.

“When I’m on the ice I’m not worried about (getting injured),” Gustavsson said. “If you’re worrying about getting injured then you’re not going to be do what you’re supposed to out there.

“It’s not been the same groin or the same issue with it like it has been in the past,” Gustavsson added. “When it’s all healed it’s supposed to be good and no high risk of reinjuring it when you come back. Groins are always difficult. If we had the answers to fix them we wouldn’t be in this problem. You just have to try and do you best, take care of your body. That’s all you can do. I’ve been going 100 percent the last four or five days. No pain, no issue.”


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