By Ashley Dunkak

JOE LOUIS ARENA (CBS DETROIT) – Against the big, belligerent Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings could definitely use the services of Jonathan Ericsson, one of their largest and most experienced defensemen.

From what Ericsson said Monday, it could still be awhile before he hits the ice in a game situation.

As the rest of his teammates practiced together Monday morning, Ericsson went through solo drills on the other end of the rink, skating hard enough that sweat was still dripping down his face as he answered questions afterward in the locker room.

His answers, however, were not what Red Wings fans would like to hear. While one pin has been removed from Ericsson’s broken middle finger – fractured in several places, part of an injury that also includes a partially torn tendon – three more pins remain. While Ericsson said the recovery is on schedule, he did not indicate it is quickly arriving at a conclusion.

“I’m going to see the hand doctor again sometime this week,” Ericsson said. “I haven’t found out a time yet, but get a new X-ray, see how the bones are aligned, see about the tendon and all that, I don’t know if you can really tell anything, but got to see what he says before I think about anything else.”

Ericsson said that while the mobility in his hand has increased slightly, it is still significantly limited.

“Took out one pin, so I can move the tip of my finger right now a little bit more and try to work on that so it gets more mobile every day here, but other than that, it’s pretty much stuck there in the splint,” Ericsson said. “That’s the whole point, too, because I’m not allowed to move the tendon too much.”

Ericsson has skated several times by himself but cannot yet participate in team skates.

“I can’t handle any pucks, make any passes or anything, so it’s no use for me in being out there,” Ericsson said.

Since sidelining Ericsson about a month ago, the injury has kept Ericsson from contributing as Detroit tries to upset the Bruins, Presidents’ Trophy winners of this season and Stanley Cup runners-up of last season. Ericsson let out a big, sad sigh as he spoke about having to sit through the first round playoff games.

“This is the most fun time of the year,” Ericsson said in a melancholy tone. “This is what everyone plays for for those 82 games … I’m going to have to wait a week or two or [however] much longer. It’s a little bit frustrating, but it is what it is.”

Ericsson could not say when he would be available to play again.



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