Datsyuk anticipates missing start of Wings' season

The Detroit News
PAVEL DATSYUK -- AGE: 37. STATS: 63 games, 26 goals, 39 assists, 65 points. ANALYSIS: Will begin the season rehabilitating from offseason ankle surgery. Injuries have taken their toll in recent seasons. Can Datsyuk stay healthy and productive into the playoffs?

Pavel Datsyuk, who had right ankle surgery on June 26 to repair ruptured tendons, anticipates missing the start of the Red Wings regular season, he told Swedish Public Television.

"I hope to miss only a little bit at the beginning of the season," he said. "We have enough (players). I'll pick up my job later. I like this challenge."

Datsyuk, who turns 37 on Monday, was to be in a cast until at least the end of July. The Red Wings open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Maple Leafs.

Immediately after the surgery, Wings GM Ken Holland said he didn't know when Datsyuk would be ready to play.

"Different people heal at a different pace," Holland said. "We'll see how Pavel responds. Will Pavel be ready for training camp? We don't know. We'll see where we're at in September."

Datsyuk sat out eight of the final 14 regular-season games and finised with 65 points in 63 games.

He played in all seven playoff games against the Lightning and had five points, including three goals.