For the first time since suffering a knee injury on December 19 against the Los Angeles Kings, Tomas Hertl was skating at San Jose Sharks practice on Thursday without a red no-contact jersey. In fact, Hertl took his place as a top-six forward during the practice.
Before suffering the injury on a knee-on-knee collision with Kings captain Dustin Brown, Hertl was having a sensational rookie season. He had 25 points (10+15) in 35 games for the Sharks, and even delivered one of the best goals of the season during a four-goal performance against the New York Rangers that put his name on the map.
“You can read into progress, certainly. You can see it,” Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “If you’ve been around our team for awhile and have watched him skate, he’s progressed along very nicely.
He added that Hertl still has a bit to go before getting back into a game.
Hertl isn’t likely to return before the end of the regular season — which only has five games remaining for the Sharks — but a postseason return isn’t out of the question if San Jose makes a run.
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