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After six-game absence, Alfredsson returns for Detroit

Jan 24, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

Daniel Alfredsson Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings are slowly inching back towards full health — on Friday, Daniel Alfredsson announced he’d play for the first time since Jan. 9 when the Wings host the Habs at Joe Louis.

To make room for Alfredsson, Todd Bertuzzi will be a healthy scratch tonight.

Alfredsson, 41, has been sidelined by a back injury that’s cost him the last six games. It marked his second lengthy period on the shelf this season — earlier in the year, he missed five games with a groin strain.

When healthy, Alfie has been a tremendous contributor to the Detroit lineup. He has 30 points in 38 games this year, which included a stellar opening month when he had 11 points in his first 13 games as a Red Wing. Alfredsson also had 10 points in 13 games in December.

As mentioned above, the Wings are starting to get healthy. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson returned from a 10-game absence earlier this week, and speedy forward Darren Helm returned from a seven-game absence on Monday.

That said, Detroit is still without Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss, Joakim Andersson, Cory Emmerton and Johan Franzen, all of whom are on IR.

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