Holmstrom returns to lineup

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

It's been a tough go for Tomas Holmstrom this season.

Almost from the first drop of the puck, the Detroit Red Wings winger has had to battle a number of lingering ailments.

First, he missed eight games early on with a back injury.

SURGERY

Then he required surgery on a sports hernia, which cost him 18 games.

And only four games into his much-anticipated return, Holmstrom twisted his knee.

"It's been a mess this year," Holmstrom said prior to last night's game against the Oilers.

"It was tough coming back from the sports hernia, just getting back into the rhythm of things, and then injure my knee.

"I was hoping to be able to play (Monday in Calgary), but I just couldn't; I still had a little bit of pain."

Holmstrom was finally able to make a return to the Wings lineup last night.

Considered to be one of the NHL's most effective players in front of the net, the native of Pitea, Sweden, was a welcomed addition, especially on the power play.

"It's still going to take some time," Holmstrom said.

"You can't fake it at this time of year, especially with the pace the game is played at, heading into the playoffs."

Going into last night, Holmstrom had 14 goals and 17 assists in 44 games this season.

PLAYING SHAPE

He hopes to be back to playing shape by the start of the playoffs.

"There are nine games to go and hopefully that will be enough to help me be where I want to be," he said.

"Right now, the only thing you can do is go out there and work hard and try not to stay out there that long."


Videos

Photos