Jimmy Howard thinks he could be back as soon as Tuesday

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Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard has made waves with his great play this season, but he’s also distinguished himself by defying injury logic. He barely missed a beat when he broke his finger, and if you ask him, his current groin injury won’t be that big of a deal, either.

In fact, Howard said that “everything’s back to normal” and shared an optimistic target date of Tuesday, as Bill Roose discusses for the Red Wings’ official site.

The plan is for Howard to go to Nashville with the Wings and participate in Saturday’s morning skate at Bridgestone Arena. If all works out, a return to the lineup could come as early as Tuesday in Los Angeles, Howard said.

As competent as Joey MacDonald has been lately, the banged-up Red Wings could use a close-to-100-percent Howard as they jostle with the St. Louis Blues for the Central Division crown – and the first or second seed that will come with it.

At the same time, Howard and the Red Wings should be weary not to rush back. Ultimately, it’s all about playing your best hockey in the postseason, which could be at risk if his return is too hasty.