The Detroit Red Wings will be without Mike Modano indefinitely after the 40-year-old center underwent surgery Saturday to repair a severed tendon in his right wrist.
Modano also sustained some nerve damage when he was accidentally cut by the skate blade of Columbus' R.J. Umberger during Detroit's 2-1 victory against the Blue Jackets on Friday. He left the game and did not return.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said the surgery was successful, but that doctors had not yet determined how long Modano will be sidelined.
"A guy lost his balance and a skate came up and Mike was sort of stretched out and the skate got under the glove and did significant damage," Holland told mlive.com. "The doctor wants to give it a little time to see how he heals. It's going to take a period of time to figure out. It's a significant injury and it's going to take a significant period of time."
Modano signed with the Wings this past summer after spending 20 seasons with the Stars franchise in Minnesota and Dallas. The highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history scored on his first shot as a Red Wing on opening night, but struggled for the next few weeks. He has played better recently and has 2 goals and 6 assists while going minus-3 through 20 games.
The Red Wings hope Modano will return in time to get ready for the playoffs -- but there's no assurance that will happen.
"The loss for the team is one thing, but the loss for him, the playing time and to get orientated and get ready (again). ... The big thing is that we got him here to help us at playoff time, and he's going to have that opportunity," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told mlive.com. "But it's important he doesn't lose touch with the team and stays involved and keeps coming to grips with how we play and what we do because that'll help him.
"The commitment he's going to have to make off-ice is going to be as big as he's ever made in his career. Because when you arrive back, everything's going 900 miles an hour. It's different when you're 25 than when you're 35. Those are challenges for him."