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Zetterberg out for at least Game 1 vs. Coyotes

by Brian Hedger

DETROIT -- The fact he was driven to the Detroit Red Wings locker room on a golf cart while wearing a knee brace was a pretty big clue about Henrik Zetterberg's current health status.

It was later confirmed by Red Wings coach Mike Babcock that Zetterberg would miss Wednesday's opening game of Detroit's Stanley Cup Quarterfinal series against the Phoenix Coyotes with what's being called a lower-body injury.

He is still listed as "day to day," which leaves Game 2 on Saturday as a possibility for a return, but Zetterberg didn't skate in Tuesday's full practice and hasn't gotten back on the ice since originally getting hurt in Carolina last week.

"He's not playing," Babcock said. "The good thing about it is we've got a couple days before the next game. So he'll continue to be day-to-day till he's back."

Zetterberg is able to ride a stationary bike to keep his cardiovascular conditioning up and is able to do other activities to try and speed the recovery process -- yet he didn't sound too optimistic when asked if he expects to play at all in this series.

"It's tough to say," Zetterberg said. "We're just going to see how it reacts. As soon as I'm ready I will be in there."

Zetterberg has had a similar injury in the past, but that one didn't require as much time off.

"It wasn't as serious and I didn't miss that much time then," he said. "I think it's a little worse (this time)."

He wouldn't confirm it was actually his knee that is injured, but Zetterberg did say "it felt really funny" while describing the injury immediately after it happened.

"We're still working on it and (making) progress," he said after Detroit's practice on Tuesday. "Hopefully it will be shorter than what we thought."

For Zetterberg, the recovery process can't go fast enough. He's not worried about the Red Wings being able to win without him in the lineup, but like all players this is his favorite time of the season.

"You want to be playing at this time of year, so it is tough," the 2008 Conn Smythe winner said. "This is the first playoff that I'm not really healthy. This is the best time of year and you want to be healthy."

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