Howard forced from Wings-Blues game with lower-body injury (Updated)

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A potentially huge development for the Red Wings and U.S. Olympic team tonight — goalie Jimmy Howard left midway through the Detroit-St. Louis game with a lower-body injury and, during the second intermission, was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Howard was pulled in favor of Petr Mrazek around the 10 minute mark of the second frame after allowing three goals on 25 shots. MLive’s Ansar Khan noted that Howard might have tweaked a knee, which could be an issue as Howard missed eight games earlier this season with a MCL sprain (and another with a hip flexor problem).

Despite the injuries, Howard was one of the three goalies named to the U.S. Olympic team on Jan. 1.

With the Olympic break just a few weeks away and the tournament set to get underway on Feb. 12, it’ll be very interesting to see the severity of Howard’s injury, and if Team USA makes a call to Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop. A report from earlier this month claimed Bishop has already been told he’s the No. 4 goalie on the American depth chart, and would be on the team should an injury eliminate one of Howard, Jonathan Quick or Ryan Miller.

Updated: Ansar Khan of MLive.com reported that Wings general manager Ken Holland said Howard’s injury is minor and he’s listed as day-to-day.