SAN JOSE – Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin suffered an upper body injury while taking a shot on Friday, and left the team’s practice about midway through.
His status for Saturday’s home game against the Canucks is uncertain.
“He tweaked something shooting a puck, and went off just as a precaution right now,” Todd McLellan said. “We’ll see how he is after some treatment and in the morning. Don’t know if he’ll be available.”
McLellan said that Irwin was “fine going out” for practice before having to depart.
Irwin has been arguably the Sharks’ most improved player since the All-Star break. A pending unrestricted free agent that was being shopped by the Sharks earlier in the year, the 27-year-old has at least one point in six of his last eight games, including a four-game point streak. He has been an even or plus player in nine straight, and 12 of the last 13.
Irwin, who has a career high seven goals, has been paired most recently with Brent Burns in wins over Montreal and Vancouver.
The Sharks have one spare defenseman in Scott Hannan, who would likely be reinserted back into the lineup should Irwin not be able to play.
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John Scott returned to the ice on Friday after missing Thursday’s skate due to an illness. The Sharks, still carrying just 12 forwards, had not yet recalled anyone from Worcester as of Friday afternoon.