Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 2 Days

Henrik Zetterberg (back) skated for about 30 minutes on Thursday.

"You just have to take it step by step," he said. Zetterberg hopes to resume contact drills before the end of the week. He reiterated that he probably won't be ready to return during the first round of the playoffs.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 4 Days

Henrik Zetterberg (back) hopes to return for the second round, if the Red Wings make it that far.

It would certainly be challenging for Detroit, given that Boston is its first round opponent. That being said, Zetterberg hasn't been completely ruled out for the first round, so there's always a chance that he'll be able to help out if the series goes deep.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 5 Days

Henrik Zetterberg (back) is expected to skate with his teammates for the first part of practice on Tuesday.

GM Ken Holland has already ruled out Zetterberg for the first two games of Detroit's first-round series against Boston. "He appears to be right on track for the original time frame," Holland said Monday. "He's skated a little bit on his own, and now he wants to see how he feels going up and down the ice with the guys, maybe do some light shooting." If he doesn't suffer any setbacks then he probably won't be ready to return unless the Red Wings advance into Round 2 of the postseason.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 8 Days

Henrik Zetterberg (back) resumed skating on his own this week.

It's still hard to say when he'll available to play again, though. "Until he is practicing with the Red Wings, we really don't know," GM Ken Holland said. His initial timetable was set at eight weeks and that is still two weeks away from happening. Zetterberg could return late in the first round of the playoffs or in the second round depending on how deep the Red Wings make it. He hasn't played for Detroit since Feb. 8 after he got hurt in the Olympics while suiting up for Sweden.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 15 Days

Henrik Zetterberg (back) is expected to start skating next week.

Zetterberg won't be back before the end of the regular season, but he might be able to contribute to Detroit's probable playoff run. Given that the Red Wings are likely to make the playoffs despite losing Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk for significant portions of the campaign, it will be interesting to see how they do in the first round if they get both of them back. They're one low seed that could pull off an upset.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 23 Days

Henrik Zetterberg spoke with reporters on Wednesday and he's feeling better since undergoing back surgery.

"Feeling much better, thank you," he said. "Obviously, it was a struggle there for a bit. But last two weeks has been much better." He won't be allowed to skate with any kind of contact until at least one day after the playoffs begin. The Red Wings are battling for a wild card spot and Zetterberg believes he can play again this year if his teammates can snag a postseason berth. "That's the goal," he said. "I want to play hockey again this year, if the rehab goes as planned. I've been moving a lot more the past two weeks, but just have to take it step by step. So far, no hiccups and it's just got to stay that way."

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 2 Months

Alhtough it is a longshot, Detroit GM Ken Holland is hopeful that Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) will be able to play in the playoffs should the Red Wings qualify.

"I don't anticipate he'll be ready to play in any games of the regular season," Holland said Saturday. "I'm hopeful that we can play our way into the playoffs and that he'll be back, but that's down the road." Probably just wishful thinking on Holland's part.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 2 Months

Henrik Zetterberg might miss what's left of the 2013-14 campaign after undergoing back surgery.

Zetterberg needed treatment after suffering a herniated disk. He's currently projected to miss eight weeks, which would take him past the Red Wings' final regular season match. He has 16 goals and 48 points in 45 games in 2013-14.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 2 Months

Henrik Zetterberg (back) is expected to travel home from Sochi, Russia on Thursday.

He isn't projected to play once the NHL gets back into full swing next week. Zetterberg played one game for Sweden during the Winter Olympics before a herniated disc in his back forced him out of the tournament.

Henrik Zetterberg LW DET 2 Months

Red Wings GM Ken Holland doesn't think Henrik Zetterberg's herniated disk can be blamed on the Olympics.

Zetterberg had back problems before going to Sochi. "Whether in the Olympics or NHL, it probably would have been the same situation," Holland said. There's a chance that Zetterberg will be out for the remainder of the season, but nothing has been determined yet. He still needs to return to Detroit so that he can be evaluated further.