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The Malik Report

Ken Holland clarifies Henrik Zetterbeg’s situation in conversation with AP’s Lage

As noted in the overnight report, the Associated Press's Larry Lage Tweeted that he'd spoken to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, and Holland had stated that 1. Zetterberg won't return from Friday's surgery until/unless the Wings begin playing playoff hockey in mid-April, and 2. In terms of Zetterberg's long-term health, his herniated disc won't yield a "premature" end to #40's hockey-playing days.

Lage penned an article chronicling his conversation with Holland, confirming and fleshing out the details of their discussion:

"I don't anticipate he'll be ready to play in any games of the regular season," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I'm hopeful that we can play our way into the playoffs and that he'll be back, but that's down the road."

The Red Wings and Swedish Olympic hockey team captain played once at the Sochi Games before pulling out because of the injury. Holland is hopeful Zetterberg's back injury does not prematurely end his career.

"I'm told it has nothing to do with his career," Holland said. "But the surgery is something that needed to be done and he'll be as good as new."

Holland confirms that Zetterberg will require at least eight weeks of recovery time, which would place his return slightly after the Wings' regular season ends...

"We're using the eight-week period, but it could be six or seven or it could be longer," Holland said. "In December, when Z was having some issues and we shut him down, we were aware there was a fragment in there. We were hopeful he could get through the season. Unfortunately, the fragment lodged itself in a nerve."

And after updating Zetterberg's present status (it sounds like the surgery was minimally invasive), Lage found that at least one of Zetterberg's teammates is already sounding a rallying cry:

"It's going to be a tight race just like last year to end and we need all the bodies we can get," said Red Wings and Sweden defenceman Jonathan Ericsson, who will face Canada in the Olympic gold-medal game on Sunday in Russia. "Hank has been our best player all year."

For the record, if you're wondering how important Zetterberg and the Red Wings are to the greater Metro Detroit community, even Michigan Radio, our Ann Arbor-based NPR station, posted a report about Zetterberg's surgery.

Update: FYI:

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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.