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Liver Virus Sidelines Mike Green Indefinitely

He told the coaching staff he was feeling fatigued.

September 21, 2018 - 4:56 pm

The Red Wings have lost their top defenseman -- as for how long he'll be out, it's anybody's guess. 

Mike Green, who signed a 2-year, $10.75 million contract with Detroit this offseason, has come down with a virus and is out indefinitely. 

"He's not available right now," Jeff Blashill said on Friday. "He's got a virus that attacked his liver, so he's seeing an infectious disease person today and we should know more here in the next little bit. I don't know how long he's going to be out. I don't know the totality of it." 

Green, who did not appear in the Wings' first two preseason games, told coaches recently that he was feeling fatigued. They sent him to the doctor, and now they're awaiting further word. 

The 32-year-old led the team in ice time last season (22:05 per game) and led defensemen in assists (25) and points (33). He missed 14 games, including the final nine of the year, due to a neck injury that later required surgery. 

With Green sidelined, another spot opens up on the blueline. Four young defensemen are already battling to make the roster in Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, Joe Hicketts and Libor Sulak. 

"It makes one real good defenseman not available to us in the immediate future. How long, I don’t know," Blashill said. "That obviously leaves opportunity for more people, whether it's guys that are returning or young guys." 

In the eyes of Niklas Kronwall, it's a race that will go down to the wire. 

"All our young guys have really been pushing, they're coming. And their push is to play all of the older guys as well. The more competition, the better we are. Everything is going to come down to probably the last game, and then management is going to have to make some decisions," he said. 

How Green fits into the picture remains to be seen.