Red Wings won't rule out first-round return for Henrik Zetterberg

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Henrik Zetterberg will resume skating with the Red Wings and could be nearing his return. (USATSI)
Henrik Zetterberg will resume skating with the Red Wings Tuesday. (USATSI)

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For the first time since leaving the 2014 Winter Olympics for back surgery, Henrik Zetterberg will skate with the Detroit Red Wings. Zetterberg will join the team on the ice for practice Tuesday for a light skate and may have a chance to return for the Red Wings' first-round series with the Boston Bruins.

Zetterberg has been ruled out for this weekend's games, but getting him back on the ice is a step in the right direction.

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“I don't know if he'll be in a full practice, but he'll be on the ice at the start of it, be on for a little bit then get off,” general manager Ken Holland said. “Then we'll see how he is Wednesday.”

Holland said Zetterberg will need time, but did not rule out the captain's ability to return for the first round.

From the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James:

"He'll need at least a week of skating before we see how he feels," Holland said. "The hope is he can ramp it up every day. Is there a chance he can play in the first round? Yeah. But there's also a chance he won't play. The second round is a more likely scenario, but nothing is certain. First, he has to dip his toe in the water."

Getting Zetterberg for any portion of the opening round would be a huge boost against a Bruins team that looks heads above the rest of the Eastern Conference. Should the Red Wings find a way past the Presidents' Trophy winners, Zetterberg obviously would make a huge difference in the stretch run if he's healthy enough to contribute.

According to Holland, the Red Wings hope Zetterberg will be able to resume taking contact in practice next week.

Zetterberg had 48 points in 45 games this season before going down with a herniated disc.

It wasn't all good news for the Red Wings on Monday, however. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is expected to miss the entire first round. Ericsson had surgery March 19 to repair a broken finger and ligament damage and has not recovered enough to resume playing yet.

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