According to ESPN Insider (Insider access required to read full article), both Todd Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings could be returning to their respective clubs lineup in the coming days.
Victoria Matiash of ESPN reports that Bertuzzi could return as early as Friday when the Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild.
Bertuzzi was suspected of having mononucleosis that would have kept him out of the lineup for a significant amount of time. But Wings GM, Ken Holland confirmed that the tests were negative and that Bertuzzi was battling an extreme case of the flu.
“It was a false alarm; he just had the flu over the weekend,” Holland said. “He’ll go to the rink Tuesday morning, he’ll skate. We’re thinking he’s going to play Friday.”
The Wings are already without center, Darren Helm for a handful of games due to a back injury so getting Bertuzzi back in the lineup will add some much needed scoring and grit.
Meanwhile, the defending Stanley Cup champions are about to get a huge shot in the arm thanks to high scoring center, Anze Kopitar nearing his return to the lineup.
ESPN is citing that Kopitar could return as early as Wednesday night when the Kings visit the Colorado Avalanche. It was expected that Kopitar could miss a significant amount of time thanks to the knee injury that has sidelined the forward thus far. Missing even two games would be considered a win for the Kings and Kopitar given the initial prognosis.
Last season with the eventual Cup champions, Kopitar scored 25 goals and added 51 assists for 76 points while playing in all 82 games.
Prior to the start of the season, a panel of hockey experts on TSN projected Kopitar as the 10th best player in the NHL.
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