Hertl (knee) to undergo surgery next week, no timetable for return

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Tomas Hertl, the NHL’s leading rookie scorer, will undergo knee surgery next week and could be out for longer than the initial diagnosis of one month, according to Sharks GM Doug Wilson.

Hertl, 20, was injured on a hit from Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown last week and initial reports (including one from Hertl’s father) suggested the first-year forward would miss a month of action while recovering.

Now, it appears that timetable will be longer.

Wilson said the club expects Hertl to be sidelined longer than a month, but won’t have a definitive schedule until after the surgery. On Saturday, the Sharks GM stopped short of saying Hertl suffered ligament damage and/or tears, but did say surgery was in the cards.

“There are a couple of different things we’re looking at,” Wilson said, per the San Jose Mercury News. “I think the MRI shows something, and probably going in at some point will probably reveal the rest.”

San Jose’s first-round pick (17th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Hertl is tops among first-year players in goals (15) and points (25). He was averaging 15:19 TOI per game prior to getting hurt and had a plus-11 rating.

With Hertl out, Joe Pavelski filled the gap on the Joe Thornton-Brent Burns line in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over Dallas.