Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm will miss the remainder of the 2013 season, according to head coach Mike Babcock on Tuesday morning.
Helm has been battling back issues for the entirety of the season and has only been able to play in one game. With only nine games remaining in the regular season, Babcock stated that he doesn't envision Helm being available.
Originally, Helm was expected to miss only 10 games. That ultimately proved to be an optimistic estimate.
Last week, Helm was given permission by a specialist to increase the intensity of his training regimen. With multiple doctors agreeing that nothing was structurally wrong with his back, Helm and the team felt comfortable progressing in the rehab process.
Helm stated that he was going to begin shooting on goalies, adding other shooting drills and increasing weight in the gym.
However, it now appears he isn't making progress and his 2013 is all but over.
Helm has three years remaining on a four-year, $8.5 million contract that carries an annual average value of $2.1 million against the salary cap. Last season, he averaged 14:30 of ice-time including an average of 2:17 on the penalty kill (the second most of any other Detroit forward). He also registered a 51.9 winning percentage (777 attempts) in the faceoff circle, which ranked him second best on the team only to Pavel Datsyuk.