Darren Helm is on the Red Wings' horizon.

General manager Ken Holland said Wednesday before a 5-2 loss to the Flames at the Saddledome that barring any setbacks, Darren Helm could return as early next Wednesday, when the Wings host the Minnesota Wild.

Helm has played only one game this season, sidelined by a muscle tear suffered while doing squats a few days before training camp began. His one game was against Minnesota on Jan. 25.

The Wings sorely miss Helm, who is key to getting the bottom-six forwards slotted to everyone's best talents. He's also a crucial part of the penalty kill, with his ability to use his speed to generate breakaways and eat up an opponent's man-advantage time.