Jimmy Howard was back on the ice with his teammates Saturday morning, laughing and lamenting how hard it is to tie his shoes at the moment.

He has a fractured right index finger, which has left that digit bandaged and immobile. While the injury will take four to six weeks to heal, Howard estimated he'd only miss two weeks.

Howard was injured Thursday night at Vancouver, and Friday, the team announced he'd miss the rest of the trip -- Saturday's game at Edmonton, and Monday's at Phoenix. Surgery was deemed unnecessary by the doctors Howard saw in Vancouver, and the team is hopeful for good news when Howard is re-evaluated after the Wings return to Detroit on Tuesday.

"We just have to come up with protection for it," said general manager Ken Holland on Saturday. "Once his hand has healed enough that he can take shots, then we don't have to wait for it to heal. He won't miss six weeks.