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Dan Cleary Out With Fractured Ankle

Dec 27, 2010 – 9:32 AM
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Adam Gretz

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The injuries are starting to pile up a bit for the Detroit Red Wings, as they lost leading goal-scorer Dan Cleary to a fractured ankle during Sunday's 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild. The injury occurred when Cleary was hit with a shot from teammate Brad Stuart. The injury also comes less than a week after the Wings lost their best two-way play, Pavel Datsyuk, to a broken wrist.

Cleary had been having the most productive season of his career prior to the injury, leading the Red Wings with 16 goals in 35 games. He did manage to score on Sunday before having to exit the game.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Cleary managed returned to the game after getting hit by the puck because he didn't realize how bad the injury was, saying, "I didn't know what was going on. Sometimes in the boot, it can stay. It was sore, but -- I knew after the game, something was wrong."

Along with Datsyuk and Cleary, the Wings are also without veteran forward Mike Modano who had surgery to repair to a severed tendon in his wrist back in November. Defenseman Brian Rafalski also missed some time earlier in the year with a knee injury, but has since returned to the lineup.

Even with all of the injuries, the Red Wings still own the best mark in the Western Conference (and second best in the NHL) with 48 points through Monday morning. They're still a deep and strong team, and while the injuries will hurt now, they'll need these players more in April and May than they do in December and January.
Filed under: Sports