Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery to repair a small muscle tear in his left forearm in San Jose on Monday and will be re-examined in mid-March, the team announced Tuesday.
Sharks coach Bob Bowner said on Monday that Karlsson visited the doctor that day to determine his next move.
“We’re trying to figure out what’s the right thing to do here,” Bofner said.
After Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals, the Sharks have games on Saturday and Sunday against the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, respectively. The trip will end next Tuesday against the Lightning. All four teams were in the top eight in the NHL overall on Monday.
The Sharks (21-19-2) enter Tuesday in fifth place in the Pacific Division and are tied with Calgary and Dallas for second in the Western Conference.
The Sharks are 1-3-1 in their last five games, and their Saturday loss was the most lopsided of the season.
Karlsson struggled with this latest illness for a while, as he was given several days of maintenance before he missed Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay in a 7-1 loss to the Sharks. He started that game with 26 points in 33 games this season and ranks third among all Sharks skaters with an average of just over 23 minutes on the ice per game.
The Sharks are 5-3-1 this season without Karlsson. He missed six games from October 30 to November 11 for COVID-related reasons and games against Detroit and Philadelphia earlier this month due to an oblique sprain.
“Next player,” Sharks defenseman Mark-Eduard Vlašić said of a possible game without Karlsson. “We had guys with COVID, Karlsson was out during COVID, missed two games with an injury, now he could miss again. So the next guy will come up.”
Please stay tuned for updates on this story.