Another back injury has now sidelined Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, something that has bothered the rugged scoring winger over the last few years. There are some conflicting reports as to how long he is expected to be out of the line-up, whether it be day-to-day or indefinitely, it can sort of be both for the time being. There may not be a timetable for his return, but you may not be able to rule out him coming back sooner, rather than later.
There is still three weeks left in the regular season and the Red Wings are safe in a possible playoff spot in the West, so there won't be much rush to get him back. A little bit of rest could do Franzen some good, much like it could for Nicklas Lidstrom, who is still out with his ankle injury.
Unofficially on Sunday morning, Franzen ranked 77th in pool scoring with 26 goals and 27 assists in 71 games for the Red Wings, having himself a very healthy season to this point and his point production has reflected that this year. Franzen was on pace to have one of his best annual rankings, since I've had been keeping track of them in my pools, but the injury will likely make him fall off and his time in the top 100 may be in jeopardy. Nevertheless, it has been a pretty good individual season for Franzen, but as always, injuries are a big factor in his game and his fantasy value.
There is some real money impact here, as Franzen belongs to Stuart G. in the draft this year and he sits in 3rd place, going into Sunday's action. Stuart is 14 points out of 2nd place and only 6 points up on 4th place, so missing out on Franzen will likely widen the gap above and shrink the gap below. This is the sort of break that Wayne H. was likely looking for, as he tries to catch-up to Stuart down the stretch. The race gets a little more interesting.