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Jimmy Howard Set To Return On Thursday

After a rash of unlucky injuries, the Red Wings will get at least one key cog back in their lineup on Thursday when goalie Jimmy Howard plans to play for the first time in a week.

Howard bruised his knee last Friday against Columbus and missed the ensuing two games as a result (a 6-5 win on Saturday and a 4-1 loss Tuesday). Joey MacDonald started both games, but his backup Thomas McCollum suffered a broken finger on Tuesday, making Howard’s return all the more vital.

“No pain out there today,” said Howard, who missed the past two games with a bruised knee. "The only reason I couldn’t play Tuesday is I couldn’t move.

Howard served as MacDonald’s backup on Tuesday despite not being able to move. With Chris Osgood sidelined until March, MacDonald will remain on the squad to serve as Howard’s backup. McCollum was sent back to Grand Rapids and will have an X ray on his finger.