Report: Sharks believe Hertl will return by beginning of playoffs

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Knee surgery cost San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl most of the regular season and an Olympic opportunity, but it sounds like he’ll be able to return by the team’s first postseason game. In fact, CSNBayArea.com reports that the 20-year-old forward might even get to shake the rust off a bit with a weekend appearance.

Interestingly enough, if Hertl can indeed come back, he’d get a chance to spite the very player (Dustin Brown) who injured him, as the Sharks are set to host the Los Angeles Kings in what is expected to be a hotly contested first-round series.

Here’s video from that mid-December collision:

Hertl underwent successful knee surgery in late December¬†while the Sharks believed that Brown didn’t answer the bell for his transgression in January.

Beyond the drama of it all, Hertl could give a strong Sharks team another offensive weapon. He fit in very well on Joe Thornton’s line through the first 35 games of his NHL career this season, scoring 15 goals and 25 points. Of course, most remember him for this tally in an early season romp against the New York Rangers:

Yes, it’s easy to see why the Sharks would be excited to get the promising young forward back.