Darren Helm has played just one game for the Detroit Red Wings this season but the veteran forward hasn't given up hope of returning to the lineup at some point during the playoffs no matter how unlikely it seems.

Helm skated briefly in practice Monday on the eve of the Red Wings' playoff opener against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center, marking the second straight day he was on the ice after more than a week off because he saw no progress from a mysterious back injury.

"It's probably been a week and a half I think," Helm said. "I just wasn't getting any better. Every day it was still painful and I tried to sit on the bike and ride the bike for 10-minutes and I got off and I was in a lot of pain so it was probably a good idea to step back. It's been a frustrating year.

"I want to be out there so bad. Just the way it's worked out for me this year that I haven't been able to get out there. But there's still a little bit of hope left in me. We're in a great spot right now. I think I can get healthy and I'd like to be able to get on the ice, but if I can't play, I can't play.

"If I get out there then all will be forgotten."

The Red Wings aren't counting on Helm, who has battled the injury since he tweaked his back lifting weights Jan. 10 during the NHL lockout.

He made his season debut Jan. 25, playing more than 12 minutes in a 5-3 victory over Minnesota, but left the ice halfway through practice the following day and hasn't played since.

Helm skated for about 15 minutes Monday.