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Kindl eyes return from MCL sprain

Zetterberg's back to be evaluated Thursday upon his return to Detroit

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 2:00 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Kindl eyes return from MCL sprain

Defenseman Jakub Kindl suffered a sprained right knee during the Red Wings' 2-0 win over Vancouver on Feb. 3. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT - As the Red Wings resumed practice this week, forward Johan Franzen and center Stephen Weiss weren’t the only two working to return from injuries. Defenseman Jakub Kindl, who missed Detroit’s final two games leading up to the Olympic break with a sprained MCL, hopes he’ll be ready to return to the Wings’ lineup when the league recommences play next week.

“I’ve been skating the last I don’t know, the last three days or so, but still a little sore but getting better,” said Kindl, who wore a wrap around his right knee during Thursday’s practice. “So hopefully I’m going to be ready for next week whenever we play the first game.”

Kindl suffered the injury in Detroit’s 2-0 victory over Vancouver on Feb. 3, which caused him to miss the team’s next two games against Florida and Tampa Bay. An MRI revealed the MCL sprain, but the defenseman couldn’t pinpoint exactly when it occurred.

“There’s things that happen outside that you don’t even know and the next thing you know they get injuries,” Kindl said. “Somebody bump into me and that’s all I remember.”

While he’s still continuing to recover from the injury, Kindl is targeting his return for Detroit’s trip to Canada when the team will face two Atlantic Division foes on back-to-back nights. The Wings play Montreal on Feb. 26 and Ottawa the following evening to wrap up a six-game February schedule.

“I think so, yeah, but it’s still not 100%,” Kindl said of returning for the trip to the north. “It kind of hurts when I try to turn and stuff and pivoting so hoping to be ready for next week.”

After watching Kindl practice with the team for the past two days, Wings’ associate coach Tom Renney hasn’t seen or heard anything that would delay the defenseman’s return.

“I think he’s doing fine,” Renney said. “Obviously you watch how he’s doing with his pivots and sort of misdirection if you will in terms of puck retrievals, those types of things. He’s doing fine, I don’t think we’ve done anything to sort of exacerbate the problem. He would tell us if that was the case and we have not heard from him along those lines so I think everything’s fine.”

RETURN OF OLYMPIANS: The Wings’ Olympians who have been eliminated from the 2014 Winter Games will begin trickling in late this week. Forwards Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar will return to practice on Saturday, while center Pavel Datsyuk will begin practicing next week. The three players flew back to Detroit Thursday.

INJURY UPDATE: Henrik Zetterberg will have his back evaluated Thursday upon his return to Detroit. The Wings’ captain withdrew from the Olympics after his herniated disk flared up in Sochi.

Stephen Weiss, who practiced with the Wings Wednesday and Thursday, will travel to Grand Rapids for a one-game conditioning stint with Detroit’s minor-league affiliate. The center will appear in his first game since Dec. 10, 2013 when the Griffins host the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
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12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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