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Sore finger an issue for Samuelsson

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Right Wing - DET
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1

SOG: 3 | +/-: -2
DETROIT – Though it’s been four weeks since Mikael Samuelsson suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left index finger, the Red Wings’ veteran winger is still at least another week away from returning to the lineup.

“If I set a date it’ll be missed probably anyway,” Samuelsson said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m taking one day at a time. It feels better, but I’m not quite there yet.”

Samuelsson skated for about 40 minutes with defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Kent Huskins after the rest of the team had finished practicing Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

The finger continues to be a source of pain, especially as it pertains to stick-handling. Since Samuelsson is a right-handed shot, he holds the top of his stick with his left hand. He could try to play with a splint, but it’s uncomfortable and limiting, Samuelsson said.

“I’ve tried that. It’s the stick on your (top) hand as well so you want to have it OK,” he said. “It’s not the best finger.”

Samuelsson did not travel with the team to western Canada last week, choosing to stay behind and skate on his own in Detroit. He plans to join the Wings when they travel out west again later this week.

Samuelsson signed a two-year contract in July to return to the club that he won the 2008 Stanley Cup with. His return, however, has been anything but pleasant as he’s dealt with a reoccurring groin injury, followed by the broken finger, since the team’s mini-training camp in January.

He has played in three games, including the first two contests of the season. He has one assist and a minus-2 rating. In 12 NHL season, Samuelsson has played for six different clubs, producing 148 goals and 195 assists in 672 games.

With the groin finally healed, Samuelsson returned to the lineup on Feb. 17 at Minnesota, where he skated on the second line with Daniel Cleary and center Valtteri Filppula. But two days later, at a morning skate at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Samuelsson was struck by an Ian White slap shot.

Without Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi and Samuelsson available, the Red Wings’ forward depth has been in a quandary all season. Still, they have gotten by on the strength of the 12 forwards who have played most nights.

Injuries are frustrating, but there isn’t much coach Mike Babcock can do, and he’s no longer in the prognosticating business.

“I don’t know the answer when we’re going to see him,” said Babcock, of Samuelsson. “I don’t know when we’re seeing Bert. I don’t know when we’re seeing Helm. I just know that these are the guys we’ve got. We have to find away.”

Kyle Quincey
Defense - DET
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 2
SOG: 30 | +/-: 8
QUINCEY UPDATE: Sporting a pair of dark sunglasses and a white baseball cap, Kyle Quincey was in the Red Wings dressing room after seeing an eye doctor on Tuesday morning.

The Red Wings’ defenseman learned Monday that damage to his fractured cheekbone is worse than originally diagnosed.

“It’s not good,” said Quincey, who has multiple fractures. He’s still a week away before doctors will be able to determine whether surgery is necessary.

“It’s so early right now I really don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “I’ll have more information as the week goes along and as the swelling goes down.

Quincey was hurt on an innocent player last Friday at Edmonton. While skating backwards, Quincey was defending against Oilers forward Jordan Eberle in the third period.

“It was one of those things, you have to go stick-on-puck to make sure the puck doesn’t get to the net,” Quincey said. “Just bad luck. It came up and hit me right where I don’t have protection.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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