The Detroit Red Wings begin to get relief from their injury woes over the next week with Oskar Sundqvist coming back Thursday against the New York Rangers and Tyler Bertuzzi targeting a return Tuesday in Anaheim.
“I’ve been able to work out, skate, stay in shape,” Bertuzzi said. “Now it’s just a matter of when I feel good enough to play and I can just jump in. It’s good.”
Defenseman Jake Walman will also be back soon, and Robby Fabbri and Mark Pysyk will be back just after New Years Day.
The injury news wasn’t all good Wednesday: Matt Luff needs wrist surgery after being checked from behind into the boards by Juraj Slafkovsky in Detroit’s 3-2 shootout loss to Montreal Tuesday.
“He’s having surgery tomorrow, he’s going to be out 10-12 weeks,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said.
Sundqvist can take Luff’s spot in the lineup, but the Red Wings likely will promote someone from the Grand Rapids Griffins.
“Hope to have Bert on the West Coast trip sometime but we don’t want to go to California without an extra body,” Lalonde said.
He said Bertuzzi “probably” will play against Anaheim on Tuesday. “I don’t think Saturday would be realistic for Bert,” Lalonde said.
The Red Wings missed Bertuzzi for a variety of reasons, but one in particular. He’s a scorer.
“Offense, goals,” Lalonde said. “I’ve liked our team play, we’re defending well, not giving up a lot, but he’s an elite scorer, our best scorer. As great as our defense has been, chances for has been down, which is
understandable, and he would help with some offense.”
Bertuzzi Will Miss 12th Game Thursday
Bertuzzi suffered a broken hand when he blocked a shot in Detroit’s second game of the season (vs. New Jersey). He knew he had a broken bone right away.
“I didn’t think it was going to be good and unfortunately it wasn’t,” Bertuzzi said.
Surgery got him a brief respite from diaper duty with his young daughter.
“For probably a week,” Bertuzzi said. “I got surgery. I got a pin put in. After a week I was pretty good. I could pick her up and what not.”
Lalonde said he hasn’t made any decisions about how the lines will unfold when Bertuzzi returns. “We hope to have that luxury of tough decisions,” Lalonde said. “But we need to get there.”
Sundqvist hasn’t played since Oct. 25 because of an undisclosed injury.