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Chris Osgood Placed On Long-Term Injured Reserve; Joey MacDonald Back From Grand Rapids

Every time Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood gets close to returning from his groin injury he suffers a setback. Last week, for example, he was set to start against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but instead he didn't even dress due to some scar tissue breaking. The setback was not major, so this week he took quite a few shots in practice and appeared ready to be Jimmy Howard's backup tonight against Vancouver. That will not be happening after Osgood's latest setback, though.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood has suffered another setback in his attempt to return from sports hernia surgery on Jan. 11, as the club today placed him on long-term injured reserve, retroactive to last week.

Osgood won't be eligible to be taken off the long-term injured reserve until the last two games of the regular season (both against Chicago, on April 8 and 10). As a result, Joey MacDonald has yet again been recalled from Grand Rapids to rejoin the Red Wings as Howard's backup. The Wings don't play on back-to-back nights until April 2 and 3, so it's possible we won't see MacDonald until the 3rd of next month. Then again, if Howard plays like he did against Pittsburgh and gets run, MacDonald could be in action sooner than later.

As far as when Osgood may be in action, it's not clear. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said that the situation is back to square one.

"We're back to square one with him,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "Everybody's frustrated. When we took him off LTI 10 days ago, the player, the doctor and the trainers all signed off on it. He felt good.

"The first day he had a full practice he felt sore but though he was going to push through it. I think he felt the pressure to come back with the playoffs looming. It's obvious he's not anywhere close to playing.''

With Osgood being out until at least the end of the regular season, one has to wonder if we'll see him suit up for a game again this year. Unless he is able to play in one of those final two regular season games, I don't see an opportunity for him to play. Howard will obviously start every game in the playoffs if healthy, and even if an injury were to happen, wouldn't you have to play MacDonald at this point? Osgood may be more experienced, but right now I'd trust MacDonald, who has actually been healthy and been playing, over a rusty Osgood. I guess we shall see how this ever-changing story evolves over the next few weeks.