COLUMBUS, Ohio – Pavel Datsyuk took to social media Monday to proclaim he will be back.
But how soon? Nobody knows.
The Russian superstar wrote on Twitter: “Dear All, I started skating. Hoping to play soon. Thanks for your support!”
General manager Ken Holland was encouraged as he watched Datsyuk skate at Joe Louis Arena before the team flew to Columbus Monday night.
“He skated yesterday,” Holland said Tuesday. “I watched him skate for a while, he looked good on the ice but I didn’t talk to him. So I don’t know what to tell you.”
Wednesday will be three weeks since the team shutdown their star center, who has been bothered by a knee injury since early January. At some point in the next few days, Holland will meet with the trainers and team doctors to discuss the next step in Datsyuk’s progress to return to the Wings’ lineup.
“I’ll sit down with Piet Van Zant, Doug Plagens, Pav and I in concert with the doctor and we’ll see what the next plan is but certainly for a first time on the ice he looked good.”
Despite missing 25 of the past 29 games, Datsyuk has produced 15 goals and 33 points this season. And while his Twitter message sounded positive, Holland is reluctant to establish a timeframe for Datsyuk’s return.
“I want to see how he’s feeling. I haven’t really asked him,” Holland said. “I got my fingers crossed that the time off and the things they did with him are going to give us a positive result.
“He told me on Friday he was going on the ice Monday. That was encouraging. We got to test it out. I’m sure he’s in the testing out mode. How long is it until he plays? I don’t know. We got to find out if the plan is to play or when it is to play. I don’t have any information.”
Based on Tuesday’s morning skate at Nationwide Arena, it appears that Tomas Jurco is the next player who will return from injury. He has missed the past six games since suffering a broken rib when he was cross-checked by Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau on March 11.
Holland said he thinks forward Justin Abdelkader (leg laceration) could be ready to retun to the lineup for the Wings’ home game against the Boston Bruins on April 2.
“I’m hoping he’s going to skate by end of the week,” Holland said.
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