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Red Wings lose Ryan Sproul to injury in Edmonton

Sproul leaves early in second period; no word yet on who will be called up

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

EDMONTON - It was a rough night for Ryan Sproul.

Late in the first period, Edmonton forward Matt Hendricks knocked Sproul head-first into the Red Wings bench.

Sproul sprung up quickly, smiling.

But Sproul wasn't smiling three minutes into the second period when he went hard into the boards behind the Detroit net.

Sproul struggled to get up and had to be helped off the ice.

Before the third period, the Wings announced that Sproul had a lower-body injury and would not return to the game.

"He'll be out," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after the game. "He'll get re-evaluated when we get home but it looks like lower body, sprained knee, so how serious it is, I'm not sure yet."

That left the Wings with just five defensemen - Nick Jensen, Mike Green, Niklas Kronwall, Xavier Ouellet and Danny DeKeyser - for most of the second game of a back-to-back.

Since trading defenseman Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers this past Tuesday, the Wings have only been carrying six defensemen.

The Wings could call up Brian Lashoff, who played in five games with the team from Dec. 4-13, or give a chance to someone like Robbie Russo, who leads the Grand Rapids Griffins' defensemen with 31 points in 56 games and is plus-14.

The only healthy scratch the Wings had Saturday night in Edmonton was forward Mitch Callahan.

The Wings' next game is Tuesday night in Toronto.

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