Programming note: Stars-Sharks coverage gets underway Saturday at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
SAN JOSE – Could Sharks rookie sensation Tomas Hertl’s season be over, after he suffered an apparent right knee injury against the Kings on Thursday?
“I think it’s too early,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “Ask me in a week, or two or three. I think right now the prognosis is a month, but we are prepared that it could be longer. How much longer, I don’t know.”
[RELATED: Sharks GM Wilson on Hertl: 'More tests to be done']
As reported here on Friday, Hertl will miss at least one month, after a knee-on-knee collision with the Kings’ Dustin Brown. The NHL’s leading rookie scorer with 25 points, Hertl was spotted at the Sharks’ practice facility on Saturday morning wearing a significant brace on his right leg.
Wilson spoke at length regarding the 2012 first round pick’s injury.
Wilson: “There is still some swelling in the knee. Preliminary report is he’ll be out at least a month, and then we’ll have some more tests that will be ongoing, and see what the extent is and go from there. That will take a little bit of time, for that evaluation to take place.”
Q: Any sense if it’s a sprain or a tear?
DW: “There are a couple of different things we’re looking at. I think the MRI shows something, and probably going in at some point will probably reveal the rest. That’s probably what the process will be over the next week or so.”
Q: Are greater precautions taken in that he’s only 20?
DW: “I don’t think that factors in. I think we take great pride in taking great care of all of our athletes, but obviously if it was a player in the last year of his career there might be a different risk/reward approach. With [team trainer] Ray Tufts and our doctors and our staff, we look at the present, but we also look in the big picture, especially in a guy like this.”
[RELATED: Hertl to miss at least a month with knee injury]
Q: How do you feel your team is set up to handle the loss of Hertl?
“There’s two parts of it. There’s the team part of it, and the person. He was playing extremely well, and consideration for the Calder [Trophy, as NHL rookie of the year] and Olympics and all that, so you’ve got all those emotions in place. Hopefully, he’s back sooner than later for those aspects of it.
“As far as our team, it’s part of the business. You look at Pittsburgh, other teams, you deal with it, in comes other players and opportunities. Right now, the majority of our attention is for Tomas right now. The team will be fine.”
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Wilson, whose comments regarding Raffi Torres' suspension in the playoffs last season earned the club a $100,000 fine, declined to get into what he thought of the hit itself. Brown, who has a history of knee-on-knee hits, will not face any further league discipline, according to a report.
“The process is in place, there’s a major penalty. You don’t like to see players get injured. I’ll leave it at that,” said Wilson.
Can he accept that it was accidental?
“Ill leave it at that.”
“My concern right now is for Tomas. There obviously is a process in place for all that evaluation. The emotions are raw with us because of the state of where Tomas is at. It’s probably best I leave it there.”