Jimmy Howard was injured Wednesday during the second game of a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League, but the Detroit Red Wings are hopeful it isn't serious.
Howard, who hasn't played for the Red Wings since injuring his right knee against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 20, was in net for Grand Rapids against Manitoba and left the game midway through the third period. He was favoring his right leg, according to mlive.com.
Removing Howard was a precautionary move, Grand Rapids coach Todd Nelson said.
"We don't think the injury, if it even is an injury, is very serious," he said. "So it was one of those things that when you get injured, when you come off of getting injured, you kind of get scared that it happened again. But we don't think that's the case. We think it was more or less precaution."
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Howard will be evaluated by doctors on Thursday.
"He felt a little tweak so we're going to take him back home [to Detroit] and see our doctor and hopefully he gives him the green light to go back and join the team in Iowa [on Friday]," Holland said.
In 17 games (15 starts) with the Red Wings this season, Howard is 5-7-1 with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.