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St. James: Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard might return ‘early,’ Cleary may have knee issues addressed

Here’s a middle-of-the-night update worth sharing: According to the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James, Red Wings GM Ken Holland stated on Tuesday evening that Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard—who the press continues to incorrectly report as either having a broken pinky or as being out for 4-6 weeks—could start practicing with the team after he visits a hand specialist today, but the team might lose Danny Cleary’s services when he sees an orthopedist to address the buildup of fluid in his left knee, depending on the treatment he receives:

Goalie Jimmy Howard will visit a hand specialist today, general manager Ken Holland said. Howard suffered a small fracture to his right index finger Thursday at Vancouver when he was hit by a puck, but the injury never was considered serious, and Holland didn’t rule out Howard returning by Friday (vs. Ducks) or Sunday (vs. Flyers).

“If the doctor tells him today he can practice, and he can get his equipment worked out, we think he’ll be ready to play very soon,” Holland said.

For Howard, it’s all about pain tolerance: he can’t re-injure his index finger, which yes, will take 4-6 weeks to heal, but as soon as he can deal with the “thud” of pucks hitting his goal stick and the vibrations and reverberations involved when he shoots pucks, and as soon as he gets a few practices in, he will be able to play (which means that the Wings don’t necessarily have to panic on the trade front).

And Danny Cleary? Well, St. James reports that if his left knee’s drained and he gets an OK from his doctor, he could play tonight against Edmonton, but he could also miss a week if he needs cortisone and/or Synvisc injections to battle arthritis. As Cleary’s also had to deal with some particularly gruesome groin injuries, he needs to have that knee drained as quickly as possible lest it starts to pull upon his groin muscles:

Forward Danny Cleary is expected to consult with doctors soon. He has fluid in his left knee, to the point he can barely walk, although skating hasn’t been as much of an issue.

“He could get it drained in the morning and still play at night,” Holland said. “It’s been an ongoing issue. I don’t think there’s any timetable. The plan basically is to see how he feels tomorrow. It’s up to him when he finally gets to a point where he’s frustrated. At some point in time, we have to find a way for him to have a cortisone shot.”

Cleary estimated he might miss a week, but it’s hard to pin down. Much of it depends on how a player reacts to a cortisone shot. Forward Tomas Holmstrom had one right before the All-Star break and, even after five days, needed to sit out a game for the swelling to subside.


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VooX's avatar

Thanks for the update, George, although noticing your first post yesterday was at 5am and now this post at 3 am, I really hope you are getting enough rest to stay healthy throughout the season.  Us Wings fans need you to stay healthy through our Cup run to #12, don’t be a victim of Jobu.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 02/08/12 at 06:31 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I spent quite a bit of Tuesday sleeping in and then taking naps, so I’m doing my best to rest whenever I can, and to catch up on “off days.” I have some appointments today which will mean less rest than I’d like, but I don’t plan on hinging upon every word of the Winter Classic pressers on Thursday, and I’m doing my best to conserve energy, especially as I finish up this course of antibiotics.

I don’t want to miss any more time, either, and that’s why I’m finishing my course of napalm, I mean Amoxicillin, to begin with, and I promise to avoid my parent as much as possible when she returns home from Germville, I mean the nursing home where she works. wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/08/12 at 07:42 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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