DETROIT - The Red Wings could add one more name to a growing and disheartening list of injuries as early as Tuesday morning.
Forward Justin Abdelkader didn’t play in the final 6:47 of Detroit’s 4-1 loss to Chicago Sunday due to a lower body injury, and his status for the Wings’ game against Toronto is uncertain.
“He got dinged up in the third period last night,” said general manager Ken Holland. “He wasn’t able to finish the game. We’re going to assess him here and see how today goes. We’re hoping he’s ready to go tomorrow night. We’ll know tomorrow after the morning skate.”
In case Abdelkader isn’t available Tuesday, the Wings recalled center Landon Ferraro on an emergency basis from the club’s minor-league affiliate in Grand Rapids Monday afternoon. Ferraro, Detroit’s first choice and 32nd overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft, has earned 13 goals and 15 assists in 60 games with the Griffins this season.
If Ferraro replaces Abdelkader against the Maple Leafs, the center will wear No. 29 as the seventh player to make his NHL debut for the Wings this season, and the tenth Griffins player to be called up to Detroit in the last four months.
The 22-year-old is the third player to be called up from Grand Rapids in the past five days, joining Teemu Pulkkinen and Jordin Tootoo as the Wings continue to suffer injuries. However, since all three players were called up on an emergency basis, they will not be counted as recalls. When a team has fewer than 12 healthy forwards, it can call players up as an emergency, which will not count against its call-up limits.
Abdelkader could join a growing list of Wings who are currently sidelined with injuries, including Tomas Jurco (broken rib), Joakim Andersson (foot), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Darren Helm (head), Daniel Cleary (knee), Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi (lower body) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin).
Detroit will determine Bertuzzi’s status following Tuesday’s morning skate, but none of the other injured players have a clear timetable to return.
According to Holland, Helm experienced a setback from a concussion that has caused him to miss six games. The center skated for the second straight day last Friday and was hoping to return to Detroit’s lineup this week.
Three players will be reassessed in at least one more week, including Datsyuk, Jurco and Andersson, while Weiss’ return is much further down the line. Weiss is currently seeking another opinion for the sports hernia that has sidelined him since Dec. 10.
Cleary, who hasn’t played since Jan. 28 against Philadelphia, injured his knee during the Olympic break and it is unclear when the forward will return.
“During the Olympic break Dan tried to some things and tried to push himself real hard,” Holland said. “His knee reacted. He’s had some fluid on the knee. He hasn’t been able to skate. They’ve taken some fluid out of his knee a couple times over the last two weeks. I don’t know how he’s been over the weekend. I think mid last week they took some fluid out a second time.”
With no clear end to Detroit’s injuries in sight, the young Wings players are buckling down for a tight playoff race as the end of the regular season looms ahead. The club currently sits in fourth place in the wild-card race behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals with just 15 games remaining on its schedule.
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