Wounded Wing: Ericsson’s ailing hip ‘gets a little worse every year’

AP
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Given that Jonathan Ericsson is 32 years old, signed through 2020 and makes $4.25 million per, the following probably won’t come as welcome news for Red Wings fans.

In a candid media session, Ericsson told reporters his hip injury — called “hip impingement” — isn’t getting any better, and the pain it causes made it difficult to walk after some games last season.

“It gets a little worse every year,” Ericcson said, per the Free Press. “There’s arthritis in there, too.”

Ericsson said that while the pain is bad, it’s not unbearable — a key reason why he’s put off corrective surgery, which would sideline him for four months.

A lightning rod for criticism among Detroit fans, Ericsson struggled last season, scoring 15 points in 71 games while watching his ice time tip to 18:32 per night. That’s down significant from the career-high 21:19 he averaged during the ’13 campaign.

The big Swedish rearguard has dealt with a myriad of injuries over the last few years, though he did appear in all 82 games in ’14-15. And that’s sort of the thing with his hip ailment — it causes great pain and discomfort, but not enough to force Ericsson from the lineup.

And to be honest, the Wings can’t afford to lose him. Even though Ericsson’s play has been erratic, Detroit’s lack of depth on defense has been well documented.

Detroit’s pairings this season could look something like this:

Danny DeKeyserMike Green
Ericsson — Niklas Kronwall
Brendan SmithAlexey Marchenko
Xavier Ouellet

Might be a long year in the Motor City.