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Jimmy Howard could be out a little longer than previously thought

Feb 4, 2012, 5:00 PM EST

Jimmy Howard AP

Jimmy Howard‘s busted pinkie finger has the Red Wings feeling a bit awkward having to go with Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald for at least the next couple of games.

That initial prognosis, however, might have been really optimistic as Howard tells Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press that doctors tell him he might be out a bit longer than thought.

“I’m hopeful it won’t take the 4-to-6 weeks that they’re calling for,” Howard said. “Hopefully, it’s only a couple of weeks. I’m being optimistic. I don’t really know what the time line is, to be honest. Hopefully, I can be back even sooner.”

Up to six weeks without Howard in goal? That would be a huge problem. Howard says that the initial statement of being out for just a couple games was just a guess on his part and that he thinks he could be back in two weeks.

Howard also says he’s played with broken fingers before and he doesn’t think there will be any harm in playing in a couple weeks. That’s more up to the doctors to decide than it is for Howard, but if the Wings struggle without him the pressure will be on to hurry back.

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