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Khan, Pleiness report that Todd Bertuzzi’s healthy, expects to return to Red Wings’ lineup

While Daniel Cleary stole the show at today's informal Red Wings practice, MLive's Ansar Khan also spoke with someone who's hoping to stick with the Wings in one Todd Bertuzzi, who believes that he's ready to return to action after missing the vast majority of the 2013 season with back issues:

“I felt the best I did last year coming into training camp and that didn’t work out so well,'' Bertuzzi said. “We’ll see. I’m happy where I’m at right now. I feel strong. I’m skating better right now. I haven’t had any issues in the morning or at night, so that’s a plus for me.''

Bertuzzi experienced health issues for three weeks in the off-season before taking three weeks off to recover. He started his rehab again, started skating and has felt great ever since.

“Started skating right off the hop, skated all summer, worked out all summer and I haven’t had any issues,'' he said.

Bertuzzi missed the remainder of the regular season after his back gave out on Feb. 7.He said in hindsight he shouldn't have attempted to come back, but he couldn't resist the opportunity to play in the postseason.

“First game I felt awful. Second game I felt great, played 15 minutes,'' Bertuzzi said. “Then, played six minutes and six minutes. After not having played all year it was really tough to get anything going.''

He appeared in six playoff games, none after the series opener against Chicago in the second round.

“I don’t blame (coach Mike Babcock) for the decision he made,'' Bertuzzi said. “Obviously, I wasn’t happy being out. It (ticked) me off quite a bit, but it was the right move at the time. If I’m not going to play much minutes it’s better off putting someone else in there that can play those kind of minutes and is 100 percent.''

Bertuzzi also tells Khan that he knows he'll have to fight for a spot in the lineup, which is good to hear, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted a video of Bertuzzi speaking with the media:

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Hockeytown Wax's avatar

If Helmer isn’t lifting weights yet then I’d have to expect him to be placed on the LTIR list to start the season.  To get down to the 23 player limit they may end up waiving Toots.

That will give us the option of playing Andersson Tatar and Nyquist as our 3rd line and Emmerton centering the 4th line with either Eaves & Miller or Samuelsson & Bertuzzi as his wingers depending on who we are playing.

Also ... with Bert & Sammy playing 4th line minutes, you can plug them into either PP or PK roles as well as give Alfie a shift off here & there.

Lets just hope his back stays healthy so the coaching staff can find a comfortable rotation and make it last the entire season.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 09/06/13 at 08:26 PM 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.