The Detroit Red Wings have dealt with numerous injuries to star players this season. They might be on the verge of getting one of those stars back.
Red Wings center and captain Henrik Zetterberg skated in the team’s practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena and could return as early as Thursday when Detroit faces the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Zetterberg has been dealing with back issues for most of the season and also suffered an injury while competing for Sweden at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. He missed the remainder of the regular season.
The 33-year-old has been ahead of schedule in his recovery process, however, and took part in Wednesday’s practice in place of forward Pavel Datsyuk, whose wife recently had a baby.
Despite his presence at practice, Zetterberg and head coach Mike Babcock aren’t ready to pencil in the Red Wings forward just yet.
Babcock said Zetterberg was just filling in for Datsyuk because his wife had a baby.—
Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 23, 2014
“I have to feel ready to play,” Zetterberg told reporters after practice. “Today was a good step in practicing. We’re still saying Round 2, but we all know we gained a couple days. I can’t really say anything now. I’m just happy I had my first real skate and now we’ll see how I feel in the morning.”
The captain’s status for Game 4 might come down to a Thursday morning meeting with team doctors, who could decide if Zetterberg is fit to play.
UPDATE: Henrik Zetterberg said he will talk to the team doctors before making a decision about tomorrow #RedWings—
Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 23, 2014