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Red Wings' Dan Cleary Fractures Ankle, Will Miss At Least Four Weeks

In 2009-10, the Detroit Red Wings had their season derailed because of injuries. Once healthy after the Olympic break, the Wings showed how good they can be and got hot en route to clinching yet another playoff berth. Before that, however, they struggled with many of their top players out for an extended period of time.

This season, up until recently, the Red Wings had been doing quite well on the injury front. They were without a couple defensemen for a few weeks and a guy here or there was banged up, but nothing too serious. In the last week, however, that has not been the case. Pavel Datsyuk broke his hand last week and will miss at least a month, and Dan Cleary is now on the shelf for at least four weeks after fracturing his ankle on Sunday night against the Wild.

Cleary's injury happened when a shot by Brad Stuart went off of his ankle. X-rays showed that the ankle is fractured, and the anticipated recovery time is at least a month. This means that the Red Wings will be without their leading scorer, Cleary, and their leader in points, Datsyuk, for at least the next four weeks. Mike Modano is also out until the latter part of the season with a lacerated wrist.

These injuries still aren't anywhere near the same level of severity as last season, but not having both Cleary and Datsyuk will be a concern going forward. If anybody else from the top lines goes down the Wings could be in serious trouble. While their depth is good, much of their production comes from a few specific players, and two of them are out now until late January to early February.

With Cleary now out, the Wings have called up forward Jan Mursak from Grand Rapids. He had 23 points with the Griffins and will see his first NHL action Monday night in Colorado.