Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By ART REGNER  |  Last updated 4/17/14
DETROIT -- Henrik Zetterberg made his much-anticipated return to Red Wings practice Thursday and the result was encouraging. "It was fun, it was fun to be out with the guys," said Zetterberg, who skated for about a 30 minutes and participated in some drills. "Hopefully, I'll be able to do more stuff tomorrow. "You just got to take it day by day and increase what you do out there, and eventually we'll play." Zetterberg had back surgery on Feb. 21 to remove a part of disc that was pressing on a nerve. He's been skating on his own for a week or so, but Thursday was the first time he skated with his team. As relieved as he seemed, Detroit's captain knows that his road to recovery is still a long one. "We do it in phases," he said. "This phase, I'm on the ice, and if it feels good, the next day, I'll go harder." As much as he wants to play -- the Wings open the playoffs Friday in Boston -- Zetterberg won't push it to return to the lineup. He'll leave his return date up to the team's medical staff. "I don't think I could do anything good out there for game one, anyway," Zetterberg said. "The guys that are playing can do more damage than I can do right now. "Eventually, hopefully soon, I'll be able to do full practices and go from there." Most of Zetterberg's teammates were elated to see him on the ice, but were cautious to comment on how he looked. They were just glad to see him not in pain and being part of the team again. Wings coach Mike Babcock seemed to be pleased, but like Zetterberg, was cautiously optimistice. "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. 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."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Agent: Bryant ‘heartbroken that he’s not allowed to play’

Report: Trent Baalke could lose job if 49ers don’t show progress

Lawsuit: Baylor players gang raped student, school knew

Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly remain far apart

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Five NFL teams set to rise up in 2016

Jeremy Lin reportedly looking to trademark phrase ‘Brook-Lin’

Matt Leinart engaged to actress Josie Loren

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker