Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk is expected to make his season debut Friday against the San Jose Sharks (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, CSN-CA).
"I believe [Datsyuk] is playing tomorrow," coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday in comments tweeted by the Red Wings.
Blashill said Datsyuk would play on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, according to MLive.com.
Datsyuk, 37, had surgery to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle June 26. The prognosis was for him to return sometime in the middle of November. He has been skating since the middle of October and started practicing with the Red Wings on Oct. 26.
"I'm looking forward," Datsyuk said Tuesday. "Now I skate with the team. I need maybe more practice … make sure it's 100 … not 100 (percent) but some percentage up, and I feel more confidence."
Datsyuk said it's been difficult not being on the ice with the Red Wings, who are 7-6-1.
"It's always tough to watch," he said. "You want to help the team and you think you can do better."
Datsyuk had 26 goals and 65 points in 63 games last season, his best offensive performance since he had 27 goals and 70 points in 2009-10.
The Red Wings announced defenseman Kyle Quincey, who hasn't played since Oct. 23, will have ankle surgery Saturday and miss 9-12 weeks.