Johan Franzen says he’s finally starting to feel better, but isn’t sure if he’ll return to playing.
Franzen suffered a concussion following a hit from Oilers’ forward Rob Klinkhammer on Jan. 6 and did not play again.
“This time was a little bit scarier,” the 35-year-old told The Macomb Daily. “For two months you’re not able to pick up your kids or play with your kids for more than two minutes. It makes you think a little bit, but you know I’m slowly getting better, so that puts my mind to rest.
“I feel a lot better. I was in a really dark place maybe not the first month because you think it’s going to get better. But then when it doesn’t get better, you start wondering.”
Franzen, who has had multiple concussions during his 10 seasons in Detroit, was hoping to return to the Red Wings lineup if Detroit had advanced past Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, but suffered a setback.
“Certainly the message the last month was he wanted to play,” said Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland. “He told us a couple weeks ago he felt great and was on the right path. If we advanced in the playoffs he was hoping he’d be available. Then he had a bit of a setback.
“People with concussions it’s hard to know, but the hope is over the summer he gets 100 percent healthy.”
As for his future in the game, both Franzen and Holland are unsure if the Wings’ forward will play again.
“I don’t think anybody knows,” Holland said. “When you’re dealing with people that have concussions and he’s (had) a bit of a history. That’s a decision that’ll be determined between Mule and Dr. (Jeffrey) Kutcher.”
Added Franzen: “I have no clue, but I’m just happy I’m feeling better. Hopefully, it’s going to progress a little bit every week and I will be fine.”
Franzen has five years left his deal with a cap hit of $3.95 million. If he does not play again, he will likely remain long-term injured reserve so that the Red Wings do not incur cap recapture penalties.