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Wounded Wing: Howard (MCL sprain) out 2-4 weeks

Dec 13, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT

howardembattled AP

Jimmy Howard‘s knee injury is a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to Detroit GM Ken Holland, meaning the Red Wings goalie will miss the next 2-4 weeks of action.

News of the diagnosis comes just one day after Horward said he wasn’t “that concerned about” the injury, telling reporters he didn’t expect to be out of the lineup for very long.

But that was before the MRI.

Howard, who has struggled this season with a 6-8-7 record and .910 save percentage, could miss as many as 12 games should he sit out the full four weeks.

This will also likely jeopardize his chances of suiting up for the 2014 Winter Classic, when the Red Wings take on the Maple Leafs at the Big House and the University of Michigan.

With Howard out, the Wings will turn to Jonas Gustavsson as their No. 1 netminder and recently-recalled Petr Mrazek as their No. 2. Gustavsson has been solid this season, posting an 8-1-2 record with a 1.92 GAA and .933 save percentage, emerging as one of the best backup goalies in the NHL.

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