|Justin Abdelkader has missed two games with a hand injury suffered in overtime of the Red Wings' shootout win at Minnesota on Saturday. He hasn't ruled out a return Thursday in Montreal. (Photo by Getty Images) |
DETROIT – Justin Abdelkader skated Wednesday for the first time since injuring his right hand while trying to block a shot Saturday in Minnesota.
“Just one of those things it’s gonna take time, a little time, but hopefully you just keep getting better each day,” Abdelkader said.
Early in overtime, Abdelkader dropped to a knee to block Marco Scandella’s shot inside the blue line. The shot, from about eight feet away, struck Abdelkader in the top of the hand. He finished the shift, but did not return to the game, which the Red Wings won 3-2 in a shootout.
The Red Wings’ forward said nothing was broken in his hand, which remained swollen Wednesday afternoon. He hopes as the swelling subside the range of motion returns and he’ll be able to fully grip a hockey stick soon.
“It’s not bad,” Abdelkader said. “Hand injury’s a hand injury, so it’s one of those things that can keep getting better, get the inflammation out and go from there.”
Abdelkader is having a career year. The agitating forward has established new personal single-season highs for goals (23), assists (21), points (44), power-play goals (8), power-play points (14) and game-winning goals (5).
He has been one of the team’s steadiest offensive contributors, especially in the second half of the season as a reliable goal scorer. He has produced 12 goals and 21 points since Jan. 10.
Should the Wings clinch a playoff berth with a win in one of the last two games of the season this week – Thursday at Montreal or Saturday at Carolina – they can least afford to be without the first time 20-goal scorer for the start of a first-round series.
While Abdelkader hasn’t counted himself out for this week’s games, the Wings would be satisfied to just rest him for a few days and have him healed and available for the start of the first round.
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” Abdelakder said about the likelihood of an early return. “Today was kind of (the) first step into that stage, skating today. … It’s one of those things that hopefully keep getting better day by day. It was just good to skate today and we’ll see.”