Wings' Ericsson has appendectomy

Updated: May 27, 2009, 10:00 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun |

DETROIT -- The Red Wings suffered another lineup blow before Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday.

Rookie Jonathan Ericsson had an emergency appendectomy.

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The rookie defenseman "complained of abdominal pain and was taken to the Detroit Medical Center for testing," the Red Wings said in a statement before the game. "He was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and underwent successful surgery this afternoon."

The Wings expect Ericsson to be back for the next game.

"He needed surgery today but we expect him to possibly play in our next game," Red Wings GM Ken Holland told "Derek Meech will go in for him. Obviously we've got a few guys out. We need guys to step up again tonight."

Wings coach Mike Babcock also said six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and Hart Trophy nominee Pavel Datsyuk will not play Wednesday.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said neither goalie Nikolai Khabibulin nor star winger Martin Havlat would play.

Forward Colin Fraser replaces Havlat in the lineup while Cristobal Huet starts in goal. Khabibulin practiced Wednesday morning but Quenneville said he still wasn't ready to play. Havlat did not skate.

Datsyuk (foot) skated briefly in a tracksuit but did not take part in the actual practice Wednesday morning. Lidstrom (lower body) did not skate but rode the bike.

Detroit leads Chicago 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer