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Thursday, May 22, 2008
Babcock says Franzen will return at some point in finals

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Johan Franzen is nearly back for the Detroit Red Wings.

Johan Franzen


He is expected to miss Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock says he will return at some point in the series.

Franzen skated with his teammates Thursday and was cleared to practice Friday.

The center known as "Mule" leads the NHL with 12 goals in the playoffs despite being scratched for the last five games of the second-round series against Dallas because of concussion-like symptoms.

Babcock says Franzen looks ready to play after watching him tip pucks in the net toward the end of Thursday's workout, but doctors will decide when he will return.