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Pavel Datsyuk resumes skating, Wings GM says he looked good

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Pavel Datsyuk has 15 goals, 18 assists in 39 games this season. (Getty Images)
Pavel Datsyuk has 15 goals, 18 assists in 39 games this season. (Getty Images)

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Just when the Detroit Red Wings are making a big push for the playoffs with a depleted roster they got some encouraging bit of news; Pavel datsyuk is getting closer to a return.

On Monday the Red Wings star, who was shut down just after the Olympics for an ongoing knee issue, tweeted that he was going to start skating.

Indeed he has started skating and according to Wings GM Ken Holland, the results have been encouraging. As he told the Red Wings' team site:

"I'll sit down with Piet Van Zant, Doug Plagens, Pav and I in concert with the doctor and we'll see what the next plan is but certainly for a first time on the ice he looked good."

Despite missing 25 of the past 29 games, Datsyuk has produced 15 goals and 33 points this season. And while his Twitter message sounded positive, Holland is reluctant to establish a timeframe for Datsyuk's return.

"I want to see how he's feeling. I haven't really asked him," Holland said. "I got my fingers crossed that the time off and the things they did with him are going to give us a positive result.

"He told me on Friday he was going on the ice Monday. That was encouraging. We got to test it out. I'm sure he's in the testing out mode. How long is it until he plays? I don't know. We got to find out if the plan is to play or when it is to play. I don't have any information."

There is certainly still no timeline but anything encouraging the Red Wings can get right now on their injured star players is a positive. They have been riding a lot of their young prospects to a recent surge but the playoffs are still anything but a guarantee for the Wings. Datsyuk returning for the last few games would be just a bit helpful in that regard.

Hopefully for the Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg isn't far behind Datsyuk. His most optimistic timeline for a return pegged mid-April from his back surgery. If the Wings can get healthy and make the playoffs, all of a sudden they start to look like a pretty scary wild card.

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