Ericsson still hampered by finger injury, but will start season on time

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The broken finger that sidelined Jonathan Ericsson for the final 14 games of last season — and all of the playoffs — is still giving him plenty of problems, but not enough to keep him from playing.

“The pain level is not an issue,” Ericsson said, per the Red Wings website. “I’m not going to be 100 percent but I’m going to be there when it (the season) starts.”

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He had surgery last March to stabilize multiple fractures with four pins, as well as to repair a partially torn tendon in the finger.

Ericsson’s finger was shattered when he was struck in the hand by a puck in a game against Toronto on March 18.

“My finger was crushed so it was a lot of pieces that they had to try to puzzle together and I guess some pieces they left out because they were so small,” he said. “There were some gaps between some of the bones and it took some time for the bones to heal in those places.”

While pain isn’t an issue for the veteran rearguard, range of motion is. Ericsson said he had trouble with gripping weights this offseason and expects there to be some residual effect into the regular season, which Detroit opens on Oct. 9 against Boston.

The Wings are hoping Ericsson can get to 100 percent quickly. The Swedish rearguard is a key contributor on the back end; he averaged over 21 minutes per game last year, recording 11 points in 48 contests while netting himself a nice six-year, $25.5 million extension.