Modano plans to return by end of week

Mike Modano, who hasn't played since having his appendix removed March 15, said he plans to return to action for the Dallas Stars in time for what could be the final five games of his storied career.

Modano, who has been skating on his own since last Monday, told ESPNDallas.com in a text message Sunday that he will probably practice with the team Wednesday and Thursday before playing Friday.

The Stars play Monday at the Anaheim Ducks before returning home to host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday and the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. That would give Modano three more chances this season to skate in front of the home fans.

Modano, 39, already has missed seven games since undergoing the appendectomy. He has played in 54 of 75 games this season for the Stars, who are nine points out of the final West playoff spot with seven games left on the schedule.

Modano has 13 goals and 13 assists this season, his 20th with the franchise, and holds the NHL career record for U.S.-born players in goals (556) and points (1,355). He's made no indication whether he plans to retire after this season, the last of his current contract with the Stars.

In the days leading up to the March 3 trade deadline, several teams inquired about Modano's availability, but he did not want waive his no-trade clause and leave Dallas, according to Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk.

Richard Durrett covers the Stars for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.