The Wings announced on Friday that Zetterberg had surgery on his back and will be re-evaluated in eight weeks. So at the earliest, in the best-case scenario, you're talking about a potential return in mid-April. He'll come back rusty right in the stretch and given where the Wings are now, right in the thick of a tight playoff race.
Zetterberg was playing for Team Sweden in Sochi but lasted only one game. The Swedish doctor said Zetterberg had a herniated disc in his back. A day later, the announcement was made that Zetterberg was done for the Olympics and would be further evaluated back in Detroit.
Even before the Olympics, Zetterberg appeared to be battling through the back issue but it didn't show much on the ice. He leads the Wings in points with 48 (12 more than Niklas Kronwall) despite playing just 45 games. Needless to say, it's a massive blow for the Red Wings down the stretch.
Despite the injury to his captain, Red Wings GM Ken Holland said he supports NHL players in the Olympics, quite a different stance than that of Islanders GM Garth Snow.