Daniel Alfredsson is waiting to see how his back feels before committing to play for the Detroit Red Wings this season.
"If I would start this season as I did last year I would have signed already," Alfredsson told the Red Wings website Wednesday.
Alfredsson missed 14 games last season, when he led Red Wings forwards with 49 points.
"I had some issues with my back throughout the year, but nothing serious until the end when I started getting some tingling in the nerve down the right leg," he said. "That's what worries me more than anything."
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The 41-year-old is in Detroit practicing with several Red Wings. He said he is "hoping that I'll know here within the next week or two weeks."
"Every day it's been progressing good," Alfredsson said. "As we push more and more it's going to be more telling. I had to back off a couple of times this summer in terms of workouts and whatnot. As of now it feels OK."
Alfredsson had back surgery three years ago.
"It's the nerve that goes from L5 (disc) and shoots down side of the right leg and calf," Alfredsson told writer Bill Roose. "I haven't experienced a lot of pain with it. It's been more with numbness and losing strength in the right leg, which is why you need to put the repetition in to make sure you hold up."
Alfredsson tied for the Red Wings scoring lead with defenseman Niklas Kronwall after playing his entire NHL career with the Ottawa Senators. He turns 42 on Dec. 11.
"We don't want a part-time player, we want a full-time player, so guy's got to be healthy, he's got to be able to skate," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Alfie led our team in scoring last year … that's how good a man he is and that's how talented he is. But if you start the year injured and you're 25, you've got a chance to finish the year healthy. If you start the year injured and you're Alfie's age, the chance of you getting ready to go is a lot harder."
General manager Ken Holland said he would wait for Alfredsson to determine his future. The Red Wings start training camp Sept. 18.
"You have to let the story play itself out," Holland told The Detroit News. "He wants to play, he wants to be fair to the Detroit Red Wings, and he wants to test himself every day and the test started this week."