"There was a chance [to return against Dallas on Thursday], but ... of all games to come back after such a long layoff, I think the expectations are a little too high for that one," Modano told NHL.com on Tuesday. "[I'll] just start in Buffalo and it's going to be five games in eight days on that trip. So it'll be some crucial games here coming down the stretch."
Modano was cut on the right forearm and wrist by Columbus forward R.J. Umberger's skate on Nov. 26, and had surgery the following day.
The Detroit-area native signed a one-year deal with the Wings in the offseason worth $1.25 million plus $500,000 in bonuses.
He struggled to fit into Detroit's lineup early on, but was finding his groove when the injury occurred.
The 40-year-old has two goals and eight points in 20 games this season.
ESPN.com's Scott Burnside contributed to this report.