DETROIT -- Its been a frustrating week for Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who thought that his sore ankle would be healed enough by now to allow him to play.
Its still sore, Lidstrom said. They wanted me to take the weekend off and reevaluate it on Monday.
"Its been longer than I thought it was going to be, so were just going to have to wait it out and see how it feels on Monday.
Last Saturday against Colorado, Lidstrom was trying to stop a slap shot with his skate, but at the last second, the puck bounced and hit his ankle instead of his skate blade.
He's had two X-rays on the ankle since the injury occurred, and both times the results were negative.
They looked at it yesterday, and they thought the deep bone bruise was more serious than we thought, said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who never likes to dwell on injuries.
Babcocks approach to injuries is, it opens up opportunities for other players to prove themselves.
Lots of times you dont know a lot about some of the guys on your team until people are injured, Babcock said. If you look at our lineup the other night (Tuesday at Columbus) without Nick, without (Kyle) Quincey, without (Jonathon) Ericsson, those are chunks of you lineup -- three real D -- and I didnt think we missed a beat.
Were never going to replace their skill. You can see that at practice. But in saying that, I thought we were very efficient, and thats a good sign for us in team depth.
Lidstrom originally thought that as soon as he was able to get his skate on, hed be back playing. But the ankle is still too swollen and sore to attempt to skate.
From just putting the skate on, its too sore to even push off, Lidstrom said. Theres no point to really go onto the ice when I really cant go push off walking around in here (the dressing room).
If, as expected, Lidstrom misses both games this weekend -- Friday night vs. Minnesota and Sunday afternoon against Chicago -- it will raise to 38 the total number of games he's missed during his 20-year NHL career. Thirty-eight out of 1,850 games, including regular season and playoffs.
I dont like it (missing games)," Lidstrom said. "Id rather be on the ice or on the bench being a part of the game.
"Its a lot harder sitting on the side and watching than being part of the game.
The Red Wings did receive some good news in regard to their defense. Quincey (sore groin) has been given a clean bill of health and will play against the Wild.
Veteran defenseman Doug Janik was sent back to Grand Rapids with the return of a healthy Quincey.