As the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes in her game-day notebook, the Red Wings’ five players on COVID reserve–Robby Fabbri, Sam Gagner, Adam Erne, Jon Merrill and Fillip Zadina–have a hard road ahead of them:
Coach Jeff Blashill planned to spend part of Thursday afternoon sitting down with athletic trainer Piet VanZant to map out when players potentially will be available, and sketched something of a timeline.
“It’s a minimum of 14 days,” Blashill said. “They can’t exercise or exert themselves until those 14 days are up. That’s at a minimum. How many days after that is really hard to tell. But being off for 14 days, that’s a long time.
“Part of the process is getting them back into shape so they don’t injure themselves. That would be the No. 1 priority, so they don’t have soft-tissue issues. It will be very difficult to get them into as many game situations as you’d like because of the fact it’s just really, really hard to practice.”
After Sunday, the Wings have two days before their next game. At best, Fabbri and Erne may be able to practice by then. But the 14-day period of rest won’t be over for Zadina, Gagner and Merrill before the Wings depart for Tampa, and players have to quarantine 48 hours if they travel commercially.