Jimmy Howard may play for Griffins on Saturday

Detroit Red Wings goalie has been out for weeks with knee injury

Jimmy Howard, Grand Rapids Griffins
Jimmy Howard's Grand Rapids Griffins jersey. (Feb. 2, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Longtime Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard may be in uniform for the Grand Rapids Griffins this weekend.

Howard hasn’t played in more than six weeks after he strained the MCL in his right knee during a Dec. 20 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Detroit Red Wings, Nick Jensen
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen (3) knocks down Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Erik Condra (22) on top of goalie Jimmy Howard (35) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.

There has been no official word from the Red Wings, but Griffins head coach Todd Nelson confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that the tentative plan is for Howard to be in Grand Rapids for the Saturday morning skate and then back on the ice Saturday night at Van Andel Arena for the game versus the Milwaukee Admirals.

“As of right now, the game plan is he’s likely to start for us on Saturday. But that’s always subject to change because we both play tomorrow night,” Nelson said Thursday.

Howard is expected to play two games for the Griffins.

He practiced with the Red Wings Monday, at which time he hinted he may have a short conditioning stint in Grand Rapids, where he previously spent four seasons.

Equipment manager Brad Thompson has a new Griffins jersey bearing Howard’s old Grand Rapids number — 33 — ready to go.

In other Griffins news, the team has released veteran forward Louis-Marc Aubry from his contract. He’s headed overseas to play in the Deutsche Hockey League. Aubry has been with the Griffins since 2011, playing in 342 games — the fourth most in franchise history. He scored four goals this season.

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