The season is speeding right past forward Todd Bertuzzi.

And there's no way he can stop it — or slow it down — with an aching back showing no signs of improving.

Bertuzzi, 37, just hopes there's a chance he'll be able to play at some point.

"Unfortunately, it takes time," Bertuzzi said as the Red Wings went through an optional practice. "I don't have an answer. I wish I did.

"When you have a knee injury, you know how long it'll take. (With a back injury), no clue."

Bertuzzi was hurt Feb. 7, but he was having issues with his back a few games before that.

"That play kind of tweaked it, or whatever," he said. "But by the third period I had lost everything in my right leg. There was no strength. After the game it got worse and by the time I got home I was done."

Bertuzzi, who went to the hospital after that game and was hospitalized the next four days, has been limited to seven games and has three points (two goals).