Datsyuk’s status for Game 4 of Cup final still up in the air

Pavel Datsyuk’s return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final remains in doubt.

PITTSBURGH — Pavel Datsyuk’s return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final remains in doubt.

Datsyuk stayed on the ice with the so-called black aces — the players who don’t dress for the game — after the team’s skate on Thursday morning and then stayed on another 15 minutes after they left.

That usually means a player isn’t going to play but when asked about his status he said “I’m not sure.”

Datsyuk added that a decision would be made just before gametime.

Datsyuk, who suffered a foot injury in the Western Conference final against Chicago, said his foot is feeling better each day.

Coach Mike Babcock said it was up to Datsyuk and the team’s medical staff to decide if he can play. Babcock also said that rookie Justin Abdelkader would come out of the lineup to make room for the return of veteran centre Kris Draper.