DETROIT – Valtteri Filppula was back on the ice Monday for the first time since he suffered a left shoulder injury two weeks ago in the Red Wings’ 8-3 win over Vancouver at Joe Louis Arena.
While it was good news that he skated on his own before the rest of the team practiced, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he doesn’t expect the veteran forward to play this week.
“It didn't feel too bad, but I still feel it, so it's not the best situation, but getting better,” Filppula said.
Filppula did some stick-handling on the ice, but when he attempted to shoot the puck, “That didn't work that well, so I think that's going to be the toughest thing.”
Shoulder and collar bone injuries have been prevalent for the Wings, as defensemen Brendan Smith and Carlo Colaiacovo and forward Jan Mursak all missed significant time with shoulder or AC joint sprains. Colaiacovo, who was injured in the second game of the season, still hasn’t received medical clearance to play.
Filppula isn’t sure when he’ll return to the lineup, which makes dealing with his injury more disappointing.
“That's what's frustrating,” said Filppula, who has four goals and six assists in 19 games. “You don't miss that much time but you miss a lot of games. Today was first day I felt better, good enough to go out there and skate a little bit so I'm happy about that.”
Colaiacovo, who hasn’t played since suffering a sprained shoulder on Jan. 21 in Columbus, is beyond frustrated.
“I'm at a point right now where I just want to play hockey,” he said. “When I come back, I want to stay in there for the rest of the season. Don't want to have to look back. Focus on the positives and do whatever I can to help this team.”
Colaiacovo said that he’s close to getting back. He’s been pain-free for several weeks, but the delay is more conditioning based.
“I'm at such a crucial point right now, with so many games coming up, me being out this long, I want to make sure it's 100 percent feeling good,” he said. “It's very close. There's a lot of good things happening every day. Mentally and physically we're going to continue to take the time we need. If I wake up tomorrow and it feels different, then great. We'll just take it a day a time right now.”
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