Helm hopes to be ready for season opener after latest injury setback

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Darren Helm has been here before.

But as far as his past injuries goes, this latest setback is in a whole different category.

“I was thinking about my injuries lately,” Helm said Monday. “I feel like this isn’t really a hockey injury, just an unlucky situation that I was in. I’m going to chalk this one up to bad luck.

“I haven’t seen this happen ever, as long as I’ve been playing,” Helm continued. “(It’s) unfortunate. Bad luck. Move on.”

On Friday, just minutes into the first drill at training camp in Traverse City, Helm and prospect Jerome Verrier got crossed up during a drill and collided.

Helm suffered a Grade 1 shoulder separation and continues to go through concussion protocol. Verrier suffered a broken right leg and also a concussion.

“I didn’t even get my head up quick enough to see him,” Helm recalled. “I was kind of looking back for a pass. I was expecting him to be going up the other side. Somewhere between there, the drill got kind of messed up and both of us were going down the same lane.

“I remember everything,” Helm added. “I remember (coach Jeff Blashill) explained the drill, I remember going down, getting on the wall, coming up with (Luke Glendening), him passing it to me and just running into a wall and kind of just lying there for a little bit. I remember everything and I wasn’t knocked out so I’m happy about that.”

Helm is expected to miss two-to-four weeks.

“It wasn’t my ideal start for the season,” Helm said. “But move forward. I got some time. Better now, I guess, than playoffs down the road or down the stretch that I need to be playing. Hopefully I can get back for home opener. If not, then right after that. Just move forward.”

Helm has suffered concussions before, the last sidelined him roughly a month during the 20-13-14 season.

“I’ve been feeling a little off, a little bit of a headache,” Helm said. “I think we’re going to jump on the bike (Tuesday) and see how that feels, get the heart rate going, take it from there.

“For me personally, I think it would be my head,” added Helm when asked if the concussion or shoulder injury was his biggest concern. “I don’t want to keep getting concussions. Obviously that’s an issue down the road. But whatever one takes the longest to heal, that’s going to be the biggest concern.”

Helm has a laundry list of injuries which include groin, broken nose and knee.

He also lacerated tendons in his forearm when he was cut by a skate blade in the playoffs. He injured his back while lifting weights.

Helm played his most regular season games, 75, a year ago since appearing in 82 during the 2010-11 season.

“I think from what I know concussions are all different and there’s no set timeline in returning and I just hope that I can progress quickly and I can get back and play and that there’s no long-term issues,” Helm said. “I’ve had one, one diagnosed one, so I’m not completely in the dark when it comes to concussions. But everyone can be different and every one can have their own kind of timetable, sidelines and setbacks.”

The timing could not have been worse since Helm was scheduled to skate on a line with Tomas Tatar and Brad Richards, who the Wings signed on the first day of free agency.

“I was really looking forward to playing with them in camp and I’ll be just as excited to hopefully get in a spot to play with them again,” Helm said. “Camp’s usually a very important time of the year to kind of get into game mode, season mode, and kind of get going, so it’s going to take me probably a little bit extra time to get into that spot where I want to be. I hope I can do it quickly and play with them right away but if not, then I’ll have to try to work my way back into that position. That’s the way the game goes sometimes.”

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