Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is scared to go into the team's designated training room areas these days, for good reason: It's never good news.

While the Wings rejoiced to hear leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk declare himself ready to return tonight against the Sharks, they recoiled to hear leading goal-scorer Johan Franzen may miss the game because of back spasms.

The Wings need to halt a three-game losing streak and overturn a stretch in which they have fallen seven points behind St. Louis for the Central Division lead. The Wings have a one-point lead on Nashville for fourth place in the Western Conference. Getting Datsyuk back should help. Though all players need time to adjust after missing nearly a month, Datsyuk is so tremendously skilled he still can have an impact.

"Getting Pav back is huge," Todd Bertuzzi said. "He's that much more gifted than everybody else. It's much needed. Just another offensive weapon that we need."

Datsyuk hasn't played since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 21.

"It's tough to watch hockey, because you always want to play," he said. "Too much emotion when you watch game. Better to play."

Datsyuk practiced back between Bertuzzi and Franzen, his old linemates, for about 10 minutes before Franzen left the ice -- he was in too much pain to keep skating.

"I had a hard time moving," Franzen said. "I've had a little stiff back, but nothing like this. When I started skating, it started to cramp up, or spasm up. I can't play like this."