Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee Tuesday afternoon. According to general manager Ken Holland, the procedure was done to "clean out some loose particles." Rafalski is expected to be out three to four weeks.
Wings coach Mike Babcock believes Rafalski's knee troubles stem back to offseason back surgery which prevented him from doing strength work on his legs.
"He had a little pain and it hadn’t reacted the way it had in the past,'' Babcock said. "He had the back surgery this summer and the quads probably aren’t as strong, so his knee, which he hurt when he was 18, suddenly there’s more wear and tear."
Rafalski also had surgery on the same knee when he was 18, perhaps leaving it a bit more vulnerable to injury under the circumstances. He struggled with the knee throughout the preseason, even having fluid drained from it at one point.
The need for a defenseman further explains why the Wings chose to recall Doug Janik from Grand Rapids and place Kris Draper on injured reserve.
Janik will be in the lineup on Tuesday night for the Wings' game versus the Colorado Avalanche. He'll be paired up with Niklas Kronwall.