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Commodore begins skating

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Defenseman Mike Commodore worked on drills by himself Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)
DETROIT – It’s been a tough start to the season for Red Wings newcomer Mike Commodore, who suffered a knee sprain in an exhibition game last month.

The veteran defenseman skated Wednesday for just the second time since the injury, which occurred when he caught a rut with a skate Sept. 28 at Chicago’s United Center.

He skated for 30-minutes Tuesday, and dialed it up a bit Wednesday, skating on his own for an hour prior to the Wings’ practice at Joe Louis Arena.

“It's getting better,” Commodore said. “Just to be able to get out there and skate a little bit … in a lot of ways it's fine, but there's a lot of ways, where I have to pull with that leg.

“Some days it feels good. Then it plateaus for a while. It's not getting any worse. Just kind of extending my stride and then anything where I'm pulling in with my knee, I can't really do. Other than that, it’s OK.”

Commodore, who is on seven-day injured reserve, has been fitted for a knee brace, which he hopes to begin wearing Thursday when he plans to skate in full gear for the first time. He’d like to get back to practicing with the team, but that likely won’t happen soon, he said.

“I've never skated with a brace. I think you have to alter your equipment,” Commodore said, “so probably not tomorrow. But we’ll see after that, I guess.”

Commodore had a similarly rough start to last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He suffered a broken thumb in an opening-night fight, and never fully got his game on track.

“It's frustrating,” he said. “I felt like I was having a pretty good camp, felt really good on the ice. It's not that I'm missing too many games, but missing practices is tough.

“I'm just trying to take care of myself. I'm working hard in the weight room. It'll be nice to get to the point where I can get by in practice in most drills so I can get out there and be around the guys a little more. I'm really on my own program. I try to hang out as much as possible, but most time when I hang out at the rink I'm by myself.”

There’s no timetable as to when he may be healthy enough to make his Wings’ debut, either. However, he’ll definitely miss the next two games: Thursday against Vancouver, and Saturday at Minnesota. But he’s certainly eyeballing next Friday’s home game against one of his old teams when the Wings host Columbus.

“I’d like to be ready for that one,” he said.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill
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