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Mule will talk about injury when he's ready

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Justin Abdelkader (right) celebrates with Johan Franzen after he scored the game-winning goal at Colorado last month. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – After missing five of the last six games with an injury that he’s not talking about, Johan Franzen said he plans to return to the lineup Tuesday when the Red Wings host the Winnipeg Jets at Joe Louis Arena.

Franzen spoke to the Detroit media following Monday’s practice, but wouldn’t disclose his injury, which it’s believed occurred on Oct. 27, the day before the Red Wings headed to western Canada for a four-game road trip. Franzen didn’t make the trip to Vancouver, but met the team in Calgary on Oct. 31 and played in just over 9-minutes against the Flames before leaving the game with a reported “illness”.

Seemingly in good spirits Monday afternoon, Franzen, who has two goals and three assists in 13 games, led kind of a game of “20 Questions” with the Detroit media as they tried to guess the ailment that has kept Mule out for two weeks.

Here is part of the 70-second locker room exchange:

Question: What was issue?

Franzen: “I can’t say that yet.”

Question: When can you say?

Franzen: “When it’s 100 percent healed.”

Question: Did you re-injure it in the Calgary game?

Franzen: “No, I didn’t. I just couldn’t play. I wasn’t ready.”

Question: What makes you think you’re ready now?

Franzen: “The way I’ve been practicing. Feeling better.”

Franzen did laugh off speculation that he’s been dealing with a psychiatric disorder. He said he was told by a friend that a rumor made it around the Internet over the weekend that Franzen was battling anxiety issues, which he has dealt with in the past.

“I’ll tell you Monday,” Franzen said. “I thought I could tell you today, but I couldn’t.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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