Colorado’s Matt Duchene returned to the ice Tuesday after missing a week with a hand injury. Duchene was initially listed as out indefinitely, but that turned out to be a couple days – and just two games – rather than a couple weeks. Duchene received his standard minutes Tuesday, so it is unlikely that his hand is still a big concern at this point. Don’t hesitate to get Duchene back in your lineup going forward.
It is different situation for Vancouver’s Andrew Alberts, who will miss the next 6-to-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken wrist last week. The wrist will be immobilized for a short period of time to allow for the bone to heal. Once it has sufficiently healed, Alberts will be cleared for rehab. The injury can be aggravated if worked too hard early on; but like most broken bones, the recovery is pretty straightforward. However, even when Alberts is healthy again, there probably won’t be enough games left in the season for him to make a fantasy impact.
Fellow Canuck Kevin Bieksa sustained a fractured foot last week while blocking a shot and is expected to be out about three weeks. However, I can’t seem to find any information as to whether he can put some weight on the foot or if he has to remain off it altogether. The fracture figures to be minor and in a location not crucial to skating, because three weeks does not seem long enough for him to fully recover. Even though it looks like Bieksa will avoid a long absence, this is another blow to an already banged-up Canucks squad.
Columbus’ Derick Brassard is dealing with a hand injury, also suffered last week. The exact nature of the injury is unknown, but Brassard is only expected to miss about 2-to-3 weeks. The initial MRI was negative, but he may undergo another this week to see how the hand is healing. Fantasy owners will miss Brassard while he is out, but fortunately it sounds like his absence will be relatively short.
Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu will miss at least three weeks with a broken finger in his left hand. The good news is Koivu will not need to surgery, so he should be able to get back on the ice before the end of the regular season. Koivu will begin the rehab process once the bone heals, a step that will provide a better estimate in regards to his return.
Toronto’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been bothered by a nagging groin injury all year, so it’s not a big surprise that he aggravated the injury again last week. Giguere’s latest setback was supposed to cost him 7-to-10 days, but there is a chance he could return this weekend after practicing with the team Tuesday. The injury has already kept Giguere from playing in back-to-back games, and James Reimer has played well in his absence, so don’t expect Giguere to be a reliable fantasy option down the stretch.
Detroit’s Chris Osgood is still rehabbing after undergoing sports hernia surgery in early January, but he has made good progress of late. Osgood faced some shots Friday and also skated in advance of Tuesday’s practice. Osgood still has to regain his endurance and flexibility in his groin/abdominal muscles, but he has a good chance to return within his timetable if he does not suffer any setbacks in the next couple days.
Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson has struggled with a lower back problem all season, but he was shut down indefinitely on February 9 and will not return for at least a few more weeks. The Senators don’t have any incentive to rush Alfredsson back since they are out of the playoff race, so though he may feel much better when he returns, it might be a bit later than most fantasy owners would prefer.
Washington’s Eric Fehr sustained a shoulder injury in mid-January when he collided with a teammate, and he still has been unable to return to the ice. After head coach Bruce Boudreau said Fehr was one or two weeks away from returning, and Fehr sported a regular practice jersey last week, he is again practicing with a no-contact shirt. This seems to indicate that Fehr will be out a while longer, but it’s unclear just when he will return. Hopefully he gets back on the ice soon enough to be 100 percent in advance of the playoffs.
Columbus’ Rostislav Klesla, out since late January with a knee injury, has resumed skating. However, he can not yet make any quick stops and starts, which means he cannot load and generate angular forces around the knee that are crucial for skating. The team will limit Klesla’s practice time going forward in an effort to avoid re-injury, but it remains to be seen when he will be cleared to return to game action.