The San Jose Sharks and their pursuit of a playoff spot was dealt a serious blow this week. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced that center Joe Thornton will likely miss several weeks with medial collateral ligament (MCL) damage in his right knee.
San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his injured right knee and there is no timetable for his return.
General manager Doug Wilson announced that Thornton had the operation Thursday to repair the MCL on his right knee.
Joe Thornton Has Arthroscopic Surgery On Right Knee
The 38-year-old Thornton was injured late in regulation in the 5-4 overtime loss to Winnipeg. He tumbled to the ice and teammate Mikkel Boedker fell on his leg as they went down.
He is currently second in team scoring this season, with 36 points in 47 games. This includes a team-high seven power-play goals. His production and leadership on and off the ice will certainly be missed during his recovery. Forward Joe Pavelski said the following of Thornton following Tuesday’s loss. “We have a much better chance with him in the lineup,” he continued “but if he’s going to miss a little of time, someone’s going to have to step up and get the job done.”
Will The Sharks Stay In The Playoff Hunt
The Sharks sit in second in the Pacific Division. As they have been all season, they are chasing the Vegas Golden Knights. Also, a playoff spot would be guaranteed if the season ended today. Only a few points separate the Sharks from the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, and the recently hot Colorado Avalanche in the wild-card chase. Thornton’s injury and recovery time seemingly make this a wide-open race for the playoffs and the wild-card spots in the division.
San Jose has been a consistent presence in the playoffs. Though they have yet to make a run to the Stanley Cup. This injury is indicative of their aging core players. Additionally, it tests their younger players that have been waiting for their chance. However, the impact of the injury and the recovery time will tell the tale as the season wears on.