Why has Mantha been out so long? Punctured lung
The reason that Anthony Mantha has been out for so long turns out to be far more serious than the Red Wings have revealed.
Not only did Mantha suffer rib injuries when he was thrown down by Toronto’s Jake Muzzin on Dec. 21, but he also sustained a punctured lung.
“That’s what took six weeks to heal,” Mantha told www.mlive.com. “We don’t want to risk that.”
He said that his ribs punctured his lung because of the force of the impact when he hit the ice after being slew-footed by the Maple Leafs defenseman when the two were wrestling late in the game. Mantha had challenged Muzzin because of a hit to Detroit teammate Madison Bowey.
“It was probably the worst pain I’ve been in,” Mantha said. “On top of all that, I got the flu on Day 2 of being injured. I had a 103-degree fever. It was just a terrible first week.”
He passed a concussion test Tuesday that allowed him to take hits during Wednesday’s practice. He had been practicing in an orange no-contact jersey through Sunday’s practice.
Mantha said he hopes to return to the lineup within 10 days.
“I’m going to have to get pushed in practice to see how it feels,” Mantha said. “From there we’ll see if it’s first game next week or fourth game next week. Hopefully it’s before the 15th of the month.”
He feels good and says the injury is completely healed.
“The first 10 days after it happened, I couldn’t do anything; we had to be careful for it not to collapse,” he said. “And then once we did a CT scan at about week three is when we started to move again and started the gym again.”
Mantha got off to a red-hot start this season before missing eight games with a knee injury (Nov. 24-Dec. 12) and then got injured again in his fourth game back.
He has 12 goals and 24 points in 29 games.
“Anthony is not going to come back and be the Anthony that he was at the beginning of the year right away,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He had training camp to get ramped up. This is just walking in after being off a significant amount of time.
“But he was our best offensive player at the beginning of the year. He can be an elite player in this league.”
Muzzin was not disciplined by the NHL for his slew foot on Mantha.
“It’s what it is. Not every hit gets punished in this league,” Mantha said. “It’s part of the game, I guess. It’s kind of a slew-foot in my head. It’s what it is, and we need to move on. He’s a youngish guy, I’m a youngish guy, so we’re going to see each other again in this league at one point.”
The Red Wings and Maple Leafs play once more this season, April 2 in Toronto.
Detroit recalled left wing Taro Hirose and defenseman Gustav Lindstrom from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
Lindstrom, a right-shooting stay-at-home defenseman, may make his NHL debut on the road against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network).
Lindstrom has no goals and five assists, along with a minus-12 rating, in 45 games with the Griffins in his first season in North America.
Lindstrom, 21, was the club’s second selection, 38th overall, in the 2017 draft. His experience, defensive play and passing ability earned him the recall nod over 18-year-old defenseman Moritz Seider, the sixth overall pick in last June’s NHL draft, Blashill said.
Hirose began the season with Detroit and had two goals and five assists in 23 games before being sent down. He has four goals and 15 assists in 22 games with Grand Rapids.
The Red Wings placed center Frans Nielsen and defenseman Mike Green on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 20.