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At the Rink blog

Two days after surgery, Datsyuk already eyes return

Thursday, 02.23.2012 / 2:48 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

DETROIT -- Star Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk underwent minor arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday, but don't be fooled into thinking he's just reclining in a comfy chair for a few days.

Datsyuk was at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday morning getting started on off-ice workouts and wondering when he'll be able to get back on the ice just to get skating again.

"Yeah, for sure, no time to relax," Datsyuk said, when asked if he'd begin working out off the ice since having the surgical procedure. "No free tickets to Florida. I need to work out."

Datsyuk was having a great season before it was interrupted by a twinge in his knee that didn't feel right after Detroit's last home game -- a 3-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday that pushed the Red Wings' NHL-record home winning streak to 23 games.

He's amassed 59 points in 59 games (16 goals and 43 assists) and was again near the top of the League in takeaways. Something happened in the San Jose game, however, that caused Datsyuk to mention how his knee felt to Red Wings athletic trainer Piet Van Zant. An MRI was performed, which showed a loose fragment of cartilage that needed to be cleaned up.

"I felt something in my leg, needed to check it," Datsyuk told reporters on Thursday. "I felt it after San Jose game. Maybe it was bothering me a little bit [before], but not like what happened in San Jose game."

When does the jovial superstar hope to get back into some skates and go for a spin?

"Tomorrow," Datsyuk deadpanned.

Really … that soon?

"No," Datsyuk said. "Maybe not. We'll see."

The initial timetable for a return to game action was between two and three weeks, which Datsyuk is hopeful will be the case.

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild