The days are becoming reminiscent of the movie "Groundhog Day" for forward Darren Helm.

Since Helm skated off the ice during a Jan. 26 practice because of lingering back pain, it's been pretty much the same each day.

"I come in for treatment and then I go home to sleep," said Helm, who has played in one game (Jan. 25) this season with no timetable for a return.

Tests on Helm's back have shown no disk issues. Everything has come back negative, with specialists believing it's likely a ligament issue, either strained or maybe slightly torn.

This back issue follows a knee injury late last season, a lacerated tendon in his right forearm in Game 1 of last spring's playoffs, and a broken orbital bone sustained during the lockout.

It's been one injury after another.

"Mentally, I've had a couple of bad days here and there," Helm said. "It's been a long time since I've played hockey or been healthy, and it's something I want to do and love to do, and when you don't have a chance to do that, it does get you down.

"But I'm surrounded by a lot of good people around the rink, I get a lot of support from family and friends, and the time will come when I'll be able to play and be healthy and I just have to look at that."

Doctors have told Helm the injury will heal.

"It's just a matter of time," he said. "They don't know when. If they say it's going to be good, I just have to stay happy and positive about that.

"I have been feeling better the last few days."

From The Detroit News: