Johan Franzen Returning Wednesday Against Blue Jackets

Updated: March 27, 2012 at 11:37 am by Alexander Monaghan

Franzen told the Detroit media this morning he would indeed return tomorrow night. Look for him on his usual line with Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi. To see how the full lines project, click here.

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3/26/12: Franzen continues to skate, and has been a participant in practice for a few days now. According to Ansar Khan of, the Mule might return as soon as this upcoming Wednesday. If he can’t draw back in then, expect him to play on Friday, barring a setback. Check back for a further update.

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3/16/12: The injury ninja giveth, and taketh away.

This afternoon the Detroit Red Wings took to the ice with a little more pep in their step. Despite a mild losing streak and a blue line that still lacks stalwart Nicklas Lidstrom, they had good news: Pavel Datsyuk was coming back. The superstar practiced on his normal line, in between his normal partners — Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi — before one of them succumbed to back spasms.

Franzen would immediately leave the ice in pain and not return. His status for Saturday is doubtful. Let’s hear from the man himself, courtesy of

“I never had this before,” he said. “Can’t play like this. If nothing really awesome happens tonight or tomorrow morning, probably not (play).”

“When I started skating it started to cramp up or spasm up,” Franzen said. “It got worse and worse, tried to skate through it. I had to get off. I couldn’t really move.”

Bad news. So it sounds like Franzen is hurt; it hurts a lot, and barring something awesome, he will miss some playing time. Also, it apparently hurts more than the all-too-familiar feeling of a defenseman cross checking you in the back.

I guess you should check on that something awesome tomorrow. But in reality, Franzen misses at least a game.

Detroit Red Wings, Johan Franzen