Red Wings’ forward Johan Franzen hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on Jan. 6, but remains hopeful he’ll be ready for Detroit’s season opener on Oct. 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 35-year-old took part in an informal skate at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday with fellow teammates, but has yet to participate in any kind of contact drills.
“It feels good so far; it’s probably too early to tell until I start playing games,” Franzen told MLive.com. “I’m going at it hard – a little bit too much, actually – just to see that I can take it.”
Franzen suffered his latest concussion on a hit from Edmonton’s Rob Klinkhammer. The concussion limited Franzen to just 33 games last season where he scored seven goals and 15 assists.
Despite the concussion troubles, the Swede has not considered retirement.
“I haven’t been there yet, really, in my thoughts,” Franzen said. “It’s been so many tough years here the last 2-3 years with injuries; I just want to have a good year. I want to decide on my own when I quit. I’m excited to try to get back and have a good year.
“Being where I was mid-season, not being able to get out of bed, it really makes you appreciate being able to do what we do.”
The Red Wings believe Franzen will be fully cleared when he takes his physical later this month at training camp.
According to Ansar Khan, Franzen suffered his latest setback last week, but continues his rigorous workouts.
“It’s four hours of working out, going on the ice, going biking, going full out, it kind of triggers (symptoms),” Franzen said. “I don’t know if it’s smart or not, but I do that. I think if I can do that, I can get through a game, or 82 games, hopefully.
“The way I work out then is going to be different than it is now. It’s going to be shorter, more explosive. A game is going to be different and I think it’s going to be easier. You’re going to get bumped a lot and there’s the mental stuff, too, but physically it’s going to be easier than what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.”
Franzen has five years remaining on his current 11-year, $43.5 million deal.