Sharks being ‘extra cautious’ with Karlsson’s groin injury

A groin injury limited San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson to just 14 minutes and 10 minutes in each of his last two games. That situation has forced the team to ensure he’s healthy enough for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs next month.

“It’s a version of the same injury,” DeBoer said on Sunday after Karlsson underwent tests on the injury. “I don’t anticipate it being long term. No surgery, nothing like that. But we’re going to be obviously extra cautious and make sure.”

Karlsson, who has missed 14 games this season, sat out Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, a month after missing nine games after tweaking his groin. He returned for four games only to aggravate the injury, miss time, return, then re-aggravated it again.

The Sharks can afford to give Karlsson time to heal up as they are comfortably in a playoff spot in the Western Conference. There’s still plenty to play for, however, as they sit three points behind the Calgary Flames for both the Pacific Division and conference lead with 16 games to play.

In 52 games this season Karlsson has three goals and 45 points. Some time away while the Sharks continue playing well will bode well for both the team and one of their top blue liners as the first round approaches.

“No surgery,” said DeBoer. “It’s going to get better. It’s just time, so that’s good news.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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