The Red Wings don't expect center Darren Helm to return this season, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Helm has appeared in just one game this season due to back problems.
"He's not going to play hockey ... this year, I don't think," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told the paper. "So we've got to get ourselves into the playoffs and be ready to go without him."
Helms, 26, has32 goals and 83 points in 249 career regular-season games. He played on the 2008 Detroit team that won the Stanley Cup.