Jimmy Howard Injury: Red Wings Goalie Out 4-6 Weeks with Injured Knee

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 12:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 12, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-0.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is reportedly expected to miss at least a month of action after an MRI revealed an MCL sprain. 

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press provided the update on Howard's status Friday, noting the official timetable for his knee injury is four to six weeks.

The 32-year-old netminder originally suffered the injury during Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He exited the contest in the second period after a collision involving multiple players and did not return.

Brendan Savage of MLive.com noted Wednesday the Red Wings recalled Jared Coreau from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins to take Howard's place on the roster. The team's new backup had a 2.18 goals-against average and .924 save percentage across 17 games in the minors this season.

For Howard, it's unfortunate timing for a health setback. He's played some of the best hockey of his career during the first few months of the season. He sports a 1.96 GAA and a .934 save percentage, earning the starting job back from Petr Mrazek, who's struggled.

Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News passed along comments from the veteran goalie in November about trying to put the team's early defensive struggles aside as his opportunities to start increased.

"Just go out there and play. That's all I'm going to concentrate on doing," Howard said. "Going out there and giving the guys a chance to win."

Now the focus shifts back to Mrazek while Howard rehabs his knee. The 24-year-old goaltender earned the opportunity to seize the team's starting job with a strong 2015-16 campaign, but he's faded this year to the tune of a lackluster 3.06 GAA in 20 games.

Mrazek should see the majority of the starts over the next month as the Red Wings attempt to climb out of the Atlantic Division basement and back into the playoff race. Coreau's only work figures to come in back-to-back situations due his lack of NHL experience.