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Henrik Zetterberg skates with Detroit Red Wings teammates for 30 minutes, aims for more

By George Sipple, Freep.com, April 17th, 2014

Captain Henrik Zetterberg skated with Detroit Red Wings teammates for about 30 minutes today at Joe Louis Arena but reiterated that he likely won’t be ready to play in a game until the second round of the NHL playoffs.

“You just have to take it step by step,” Zetterberg said.

He said it was fun to be back on the ice but admitted that he didn’t do much. He plans to skate longer Friday in Boston, during the team’s morning skate. He hopes to be able to participate in some contact drills later in the week.

“Good for him,” coach Mike Babcock said when asked about Zetterberg skating. “I saw him at Nick Lidstrom’s retirement March 6, and he couldn’t walk. He hobbled his way out onto the ice. Now he’s out there skating. That’s a long way in a short period of time .

“Anyone that’s been injured and off a good chunk of time, when they arrive back, they see how fast everything is. It’s hard. That’s the tough thing about injuries — even when you get the guys back, they’re not themselves. They wear the same number, but they don’t do what they did because it’s just too hard.”

Friday marks the eight-week mark following his Feb. 21 back surgery in New York. Zetterberg returned home early from the Sochi Olympics to have the surgery, after his back flared up the day after he played in Sweden's first game.

Zetterberg making progess as he skates with team

By Chuck Pleiness, themorningsun.com, April 17th, 2014

Henrik Zetterberg took another step in right direction.

The Wings’ captain took part in his first practice with the team Thursday at Joe Louis Arena, skating roughly 30 minutes.

“I think today is just one of the steps that I have to take,” Zetterberg said. “I have to start skating with the team a little bit. I didn’t do that much but hopefully I can do more tomorrow.”

Zetterberg took part in just about every drill Wings coach Mike Babcock ran, but stood along the boards while special teams were worked on.

“It felt good,” Zetterberg added. “It’s fun to be out there with the boys again. The stuff I did felt good and I’m looking forward to next time.”

Zetterberg underwent successful surgery on Feb. 21 in New York to remove part of a disc which was rubbing against a nerve, which caused severe back pain.

“I’ve got the medical team looking after me too and they will pull me out when they think it’s time,” Zetterberg said. “Hopefully I can get out there a little bit more and still feel good.”

Zetterberg has been sidelined since the Winter Olympics after playing just one game with Sweden.

The possibility of him being ready to return to the lineup in the first round against the Boston Bruins appears unlikely, but he hasn’t ruled it out.

“I think that time-wise we are shooting for round two if everything goes well,” Zetterberg said. “We’re taking it day-by-day, increasing the intensity every day and hopefully in a couple days maybe I can do some more battling drills.”

Despite playing in just 45 of the Wings’ 82 games this season, Zetterberg finished tied for third on the team in points with 48.

“I saw him at Nick Lidstrom’s retirement March 6 and he couldn’t walk,” Babcock said. “He hobbled his way out onto the ice. Now he’s out there skating. That’s a long way in a short period of time. Anyone that’s been injured and off a good chunk of time when they arrive back they see how fast everything is. That’s the tough thing about injuries, even when you get the guys back they’re not themselves. They wear the same number, but they don’t do what they did because it’s just too hard.”

Zetterberg, 33, missed 11 games in December with a slightly herniated disc. He also missed two games in January due to it.

Zetterberg began having issues with his back in 2008, which made him miss the All-Star game.

In 2007, he injured his vertebra and missed several weeks.

Zetterberg Skating, Hopeful for First Round Series against Boston.

By Chris Turner, Zetterbergfan.com, April 13, 2014

Injured Detroit Red Wings Captain, Henrik Zetterberg missed the last 24 games of the regular season after he underwent successful back surgery to remove fragments from a herniated disk that were pinching a nerve, on February 21st.  The Red Wings were amazingly still able to clinch a playoff berth for the 23rd straight year, and they hope that Zetterberg can return later in the first round against the Boston Bruins. His return would provide great veteran leadership for the playoffs and a huge offensive boost. He has scored a goal in all three of the games he played against the Bruins this season.

Zetterberg has begun skating on his own, but is not yet practicing with the team.

Henrik Zetterberg optimistic he'll return in playoffs if Detroit Red Wings get there

By Helene St. James, Freep.com, March 26th, 2014

Henrik Zetterberg has his playoff beard ready, even though he may not get there.

Zetterberg spoke to media today for the first time since undergoing back surgery that requires a minimum of eight weeks of rehabilitation, a date that falls around April 18-19. The Detroit Red Wings finish the regular season April 13, and are in an extremely tight race to make the playoffs. Realistically, they'd need to go two rounds for there to be any talk of Zetterberg returning - and that depends, of course, on there being no setbacks.

Zetterberg, sporting a long beard, flannel shirt and cardigan, was optimistic he'd be wearing his captain's jersey again this spring.

"That's the goal," he said. "I want to play hockey again this year, and that would be some time around playoffs.

"The time line is eight weeks without contact, that's what the doctors say and that's what we're going to stick with. Then we'll re-evaluate after that. Then we've just got to see where I am."

Zetterberg has begun rehabilitation, but has yet to even consider skating. "I've been moving a lot more the past two weeks," he said. "Just have to take it step by step. So far, no hiccups."

Zetterberg underwent surgery Feb. 21, a week after waking up in Sochi in such devastating pain that he couldn't get out of bed. Zetterberg, Sweden's captain, played in Sweden's first game, scoring a goal, and reported no pain afterward.

That all changed overnight, when a herniated disc flared up and left surgery as the most likely course. Zetterberg - who roomed with Wings teammate Gustav Nyquist in Sochi - stayed nearly a week at the Olympics before he felt well enough to take an NHL charter red-eye, staying in New York to have the surgery performed.

"It was tough," Zetterberg said. "It's something that I don't want to go through again. The only good thing was I had 24 guys around me. They really took good care of me. Got to give Gus a lot of credit for being my roommate for a week and helping me out.

"It was nice to finally get on that plane. I knew I was going to do the surgery, and the pain was going to go away afterwards."

Zetterberg is still awaiting delivery of his Olympic silver medal. Niklas Kronwall supposedly brought it back, but apparently is the forgetful kind. "Kronner still has it," Zetterberg said, smiling. "I don't know if he brought it back at all, I haven't seen it."

In the weeks following surgery, Zetterberg kept a low profile around the Joe, most notably looking in pain as he watched the retirement ceremony of his predecessor, Nicklas Lidstrom, on March 6. Zetterberg has stopped in for most games since, and said there's noticeable improvement.

"It was stiff and tight and sore from the surgery, but that kind of turned around after the Nick night," Zetterberg said of his back. "I think after that was when I started doing some rehab work."

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