Just two days after returning to Detroit’s lineup, Johan Franzen was placed back on injured reserve Tuesday, as the forward’s concussion-like symptoms resurfaced.
“Any time it’s a head injury, we’ve been through it a number of times, they’re hard things,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Obviously, Mule thought he was ready and then found out he wasn’t. He’ll be out a few for sure, anyways, and he continues to work with doctors at U-M, they’ll figure out when he’s available.”
The club did not learn of Franzen’s condition until Tuesday morning. Franzen missed 16 games after suffering a concussion on Dec. 15, and recorded one assist in a 5-4 shootout loss to Florida on Sunday, his first game back from the injury.
The forward traveled with the team to Philadelphia for Detroit’s matchup against the Flyers, but isn’t expected to return anytime soon.
“The specialist is in Ann Arbor, he’s been in constant communication with him,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s got to have a lot of days of being healthy before he plays.”
Center Joakim Andersson, who has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury, will replace Franzen in the Wings’ lineup Tuesday, centering a line with Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist, who was named the league’s Second Star of the Week for scoring a goal in each of the last four games.
“I just think he’s a good player in the offensive zone, makes good passes,” Babcock said of Andersson. “Last year he played with Brunner, with good speed, and Nyquist. I don’t think we thought about him struggling last year, even evaluated him because he was a first year player and then he had such a good playoff and good second half for us in a short season that you thought things would just be easy for him. That’s not always the case. It’s important to get Andy back, he knows how to play. He’s a big body.”
Although Detroit continues to struggle with injuries to its veteran players, Babcock has been pleased with the young players on the Wings’ roster, who have continued to shine since the Winter Classic.
“Bottom line is we got a good group here,” Babcock said. “We’ve gone 8-6-2 in our last 16. I like how hard we played, I didn’t like our detail at the end of the game defensively. We got to fix that up and then we got to come here and play hard. Playing against a Flyers team that needs a win just as bad as we do.”
Henrik Zetterberg (back) and Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body) did not travel to Philadelphia. Both stars are day to day and hope to be back in the lineup Friday when the Red Wings host the Washington Capitals.
“We’ll give Howie this week in practice and get ready to go,” Babcock said.
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