Raffi Torres hasn’t played a game this season for the San Jose Sharks. But he appears to be working towards a comeback, having skated on Wednesday, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.
“We’re not counting him out,” head coach Todd McLellan told the San Jose Mercury News.
“If anybody can fight back it’d be Raffi. . . . I met with him today and he had a smile on his face, which was really good to see. He’s going to do everything in his power to come back and help the team, but he does have a long way to go.”
The 33-year-old Torres, a hard-hitting and gritty winger throughout his career, last played in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, on April 30, against the L.A. Kings.
In late November, it was reported he had hoped to soon start skating, after choosing in October to not undergo a second ACL surgery.
Here’s the latest on injured San Jose forward Raffi Torres, who’s yet to play this year due to complications from a knee injury.
From CSN Bay Area:
Torres has been around since last Monday, and hopes to begin skating in the next week or so, after multiple infections in his surgically repaired right knee resulted in a complete removal of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“People have helped me along the way and I’m hoping that I can get back and start helping this team out the way I know I can,” Torres said. “At the end of the day, I haven’t played in a couple years, but I feel good. Mentally, I feel refreshed.”
“Coming back here puts that fire back in my body.”
Tuesday was the first time Torres spoke publicly since returning to the Bay Area in the hopes of resuming skating. He was only able to play a handful of regular season games last year and limped his way through San Jose’s opening-round playoff collapse to Los Angeles; Torres then spent the last few months rehabbing, trying to strengthen the muscles around the ACL-less knee while visiting doctors to ensure the infections had cleared completely.
Now, the next step — getting back on the ice.
Neither Torres nor the Sharks are putting any timetable on a return, and the 33-year-old acknowledges his knee might not respond the way he wants. That said, Torres isn’t looking too far down the road, opting to employ the “one day at a time” approach.
“I’m just trying to be hopeful that when I start skating it’s not affecting me,” he explained. “If I can play at the level I need to play at, I’ll keep going. If not, we’ll have to sit down again and reassess the situation.”
The ACL damage that’ll keep Raffi Torres out of the Sharks lineup for the first half of this season still hasn’t been surgically repaired, GM Doug Wilson told CSN Bay Area.
Torres, who suffered multiple infections in his repaired knee after the 2014 playoffs, is expected to have surgery later this month.
The forward played in just five regular season games in 2013-14 after hurting the knee last September in a preseason game, and although he appeared in all seven playoff games against Los Angeles, Torres said he was “skating around pretty much on one leg.”
The 32-year-old has a history of problems with his right knee, dating back to the original ACL tear during the 2007-08 campaign (with Edmonton) which cost him the final 49 games of the season. As such, one has to wonder how long he’ll be shelved this time around — Torres had surgery late in September last season and didn’t make his debut until after the Olympic break.
After playing in five games, he was shut down again and didn’t play until the postseason.
The San Jose Sharks won’t be seeing Raffi Torres on the ice at the start of the new season.
The team announced Torres developed an infection in his surgically repaired right knee and had to have a procedure to remove the surgically implanted graft. Sharks GM Doug Wilson said there’s no timetable on his recovery.
“Raffi has started a rehabilitation phase, but will need to repeat the surgical procedure to repair the ACL damage suffered on Sept. 20, 2013,” Wilson said in the team’s press release. “We expect Raffi to return to the team during the 2014-15 season but no official timeline for his return is being set at this time.”
Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports Torres could miss as much as half of the season.
Torres originally suffered his injury during preseason last year. He tore the ACL in his right knee and missed most of the season. He played in five regular season games and all seven Sharks playoff games in the first round against Los Angeles. He averaged 10:22 of ice time per game making him primarily a fourth line player. After the injury he suffered, it made sense not to give him a ton of time.