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Johan Franzen out 3-4 weeks with knee sprain

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Power forward Johan Franzen is out 3-4 weeks with a knee sprain, which he suffered in the second period of last night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. The MRI did not reveal any ligament damage, which is why it is being classified as a sprain.

Finnish forward Ville Leino has been recalled from Grand Rapids and may play tomorrow in LA for his first NHL regular season game of his career. He had a strong preseason so I'm looking forward to see him play if he does.

The loss of Franzen is frustrating especially since Henrik Zetterberg and him were quite the duo on the Wings second line. However, the knee injury could have been much worse so I guess I should be pleased that it will only keep him out for 3-4 weeks instead of an entire season. It will be interesting to see how head coach Mike Babcock shuffles the lines up for tomorrow's game.

Update (October 27): Sounds like the GR Griffins' PR staff got a little excited about seeing their 96th player get time in the NHL. Leino was not actually recalled, but if the Wings start thinking Johan Franzen's injury will keep him out past three weeks, they will recall someone from GR (likely Leino). As of right now, Detroit only has room for someone else under the cap if Franzen is added to the IR list.

"Obviously, we were concerned," Wings GM Ken Holland told from Los Angeles on Monday. "We left him behind in Chicago on Saturday night. He flew back to Detroit on Sunday morning and had an MRI. It's a Grade 2 MCL sprain. Right now, the doctor feels it's three to four weeks. We're going to wait two to three days, and if he feels pretty good in two to three days, then maybe we're looking at less time than three weeks.

"If in two to three days he's still pretty stiff, then we're probably looking at three to four weeks and we might consider putting him on LTI so we can get another body up here. So we're going to sit tight here for the next couple of days and see how his knee responds."

LTI stands for long-term injury reserve; it's a place to park a player while he's out long term and save money against the salary cap.