Wings coach Mike Babcock on Datsyuk’s progress: “When I see him in the lineup I’ll believe it.”

DETROIT >> Tomas Jurco will return to lineup Thursday when the Wings host the Montreal Canadiens. Jurco has missed seven games with a broken rib.

“I’m feeling good, much better than a week ago, so every couple of days there’s big progress,” Jurco said.

Jurco, who has five goals and 10 points in 26 games, possibly could have played Tuesday, but wanted to rest his ribs a couple more days to be safe.

Justin Abdelkader will be ready to return next Wednesday from a leg laceration he suffered on March 16.

“I haven’t gone through a full practice or full drills, so we’ll see how it responds and go from there,” Abdelkader said.

Pavel Datsyuk (knee inflammation) took part in an optional skate Wednesday, but Wings coach Mike Babcock had no update on when he could return.

“(Trainer) Piet (Van Zant) told me that he looks like he could play, but I’ve heard that lots,” Babcock said. “When I see him in the lineup I’ll believe it.”


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