Detroit – Pavel Datsyuk skated for the first time with the Red Wings in practice on Monday, after offseason surgery on his ankle. But his scheduled return remains mid-November.
Meanwhile, the raft of early-season injuries continues to have other consequences.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey and the Wings' two most significant free-agent acquisitions in recent seasons, defenseman Mike Green and forward Brad Richards, will not play against the Hurricanes Tuesday and probably for some time in the future, according to General Manager Ken Holland.
Quincey continues to suffer concussion-like symptoms, a few days after a body-check to the head against the Flames Saturday. Given the NHL concussion protocol, he is likely out through the weekend, Holland said.
Holland said the NHL reviewed the play but issued no disciplinary action. And no penalty was called during the game.
Green is out for 2-3 weeks after an upper-body injury he also suffered against the Flames, when he was hit abruptly on the shoulder coming out of the zone.
“He’ll need two or three weeks to heal,” Holland said, declining to confirm whether it was Green’s shoulder.
Richards will see a back specialist, and is likely out for a few more games.
Datsyuk's engagement at practice lasted about 25 minutes. He arrived early, for the 11 a.m. session, with the rest of his mates, but left for the dressing room about 15 minutes before them.
Then, after a brief game of hide-and-seek with reporters – Datsyuk playfully hid behind a curtain that divides the dressing room from the weight room – the star 37-year-old center said it felt nice skating with the guys, but it does not mean he is back soon.
"My conditioning is unbelievable!" he said, repeating a question and exaggerating his already accelerating breathing to dramatically huff-and-puff – demonstrating the issue with which he now mostly grapples: conditioning.
But his mood was good, and Datsyuk's smile was flashing.
Datsyuk's surgery to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle -- an injury he played through, with considerable pain last season – was four months ago.
"Sometimes I feel better," Datsyuk said. "I feel better when I start to skate, but it's hard to keep pace, good pace, when the team skates fast.
"I feel more confident, but it's not close yet."
While the timetable is the same, Datysuk said, "Every day, it feels better and better."
He said he would continue to skate with the team, "when I have a chance." But mostly, he will continue to drill on his own.