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Wings don't expect Helm to be ready for Oct. 2

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Darren Helm

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.Darren Helm’s injury saga continues as the Red Wings reported to training camp at Centre ICE Arena on Wednesday morning.

Helm will not be on the ice for the team’s first day of skating Thursday.

“I don’t think it’s in the cards right now,” said Helm, who suffered a pulled groin muscle while skating in an informal team practice last Friday at Joe Louis Arena.

The 26-year-old Helm missed all but one game last year with a sore lower back. He has spent the last few months rehabilitating the inflamed disc. Even without the groin injury, it’s likely that Helm wouldn’t be ready for the start of the season when the Wings open against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 2.

“It’s going to be a couple of weeks where I’m not going to be able to get the physical contact or do stuff that I wanted to do,” Helm said. “It’s kind of taken a backseat right now to this groin.”

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland doesn’t expect Helm to skate at all this week.

“I don't think he's going to skate,” Holland said. “Nothing to do with his back, he's got groin aggravation or groin strain. He's been off for a few days now, groins are 1-3 weeks, so we'll see in a few days.”

Helm’s off-ice workouts have been limited so not to aggravate either of his existing injuries.

Last week, coach Mike Babcock said he had Helm penciled in among the Wings’ top five centermen, along with Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss, Cory Emmerton and Joakim Andersson. Riley Sheahan is sixth on the Wings’ list of centers, Babcock said.

When asked if he thought that Helm would be ready for the season, Babcock said, “I have no idea. The way I look at it he hasn’t played in a year and a half basically. If we get him it’s a bonus.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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