Friday's Injury Update: Duchene, Crosby, Lundqvist, McDonald, Dorsett...

(3/16/12) This biggest story on the injury front continues to be Sidney Crosby, although it's good news of course.  He returned to the Pens' lineup, logged about 15 minutes in ice time, and recorded an assist.  His presence was electric and there is no denying he elevates the entire team's clout.  It's great to see the kid back.  Fantasy GMs should have him active in all formats.

Henrik Lundqvist did not play in Sidney's return (which might have something to do with the Rangers' 5-2 loss).  He's suffering from the flu, but should be back soon.  Get Marty Biron in there until "King" Lundqvist returns.  Ryan Callahan missed another game thanks to his foot injury.

Matt Duchene returned to the COL lineup in the Avs' shutout loss to NJ.  Duchene was expected to be out much longer, so the return comes as a surprise.  

Big news out of St. Louis.  Andy McDonald injured his shoulder on Thursday and is now day-to-day.  The good news here is that it has nothing to do with the concussion that sidelined him for 51 games this year.

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom (MIN) practiced in full on Thursday and there is speculation that he could return to the Wild lineup as soon as Saturday.  If he's your backstop, stay on your toes.

PIMs man Derek Dorsett will return to action on Saturday.  He's missed the past week of play thanks to an illness that has caused him to lose 7 pounds.  

Nikolai Kulemin will miss the next 3 weeks with a broken finger.  Basically he's done for the season because the Leafs aren't going to make the postseason.  Kulemin has been a fantasy bust this year and good riddance for anyone still hanging on to him.

Corey Perry has now missed two games with a shoulder injury, but could return Friday - or on the weekend.  Fantasy owners should watch the lineup card at game time closely and activate Perry if he's a go.

Buffalo's Nathan Gerbe has a UBI that caused him to miss Wednesday's game - he's day-to-day - while former Sabre, and Nashville's deadline acquisition Paul Gaustad is expected to miss Saturday's game thanks to an arm or wrist injury.

In Chicago, a couple notes: Ray Emery is dealing with the flu and is questionable for Friday, meaning Corey Crawford is your most likely starter.  And, Niklas Hjalmarsson is dealing with a UBI, but it is not associated with the concussion issues that held him out last month.

Oilers' enforcer Ben Eager is now sidelined with a back injury.  He's missed recent time with an illness, so it sounds like his conditioning is a touch off, although he is merely day-to-day.

In Montreal, Alexander Emelin (UBI) and Tomas Kaberle (family) both missed Wednesday's game against Ottawa.  Kaberle should play in the Habs' next game, while Emelin's condition is unclear.  And Scott Gomez is now out with a concussion thanks to that Tyler Myers hit he received in the game against Buffalo.  Myers was suspended 3 games, Gomez is listed as day-to-day, but we sense it could be more serious.

SJ winger Tommy Wingels remains out with a UBI.  He skated on Thursday and is day-to-day.

And finally, Vancouver fourth line center Manny Malhotra will be dealing with personal issues this weekend and will miss Saturday's game.

There you have our fantasy hockey pool injury updates heading into the weekend.  Good luck with your roster moves.