Thornton Played With Significant Knee Injury

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5/AP) — Earlier than Joe Thornton heads into an unsure offseason the place he might be a free agent and depart San Jose after almost 12 years, he had extra urgent enterprise.

Thornton underwent surgical procedure on a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee Monday to restore an damage that sidelined him lower than two weeks earlier than he returned to play the ultimate 4 video games of a primary-spherical collection loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

“I’ve been on this enterprise a very long time,” common supervisor Doug Wilson stated. “You see a participant play with that sort of damage tells you all you should find out about him.”

Thornton downplayed the damage earlier than the workforce introduced the severity of what he performed by means of and the surgical procedure, calling it merely “the traditional stuff that hockey gamers cope with” presently of the season.

However his willingness to play 4 playoff video games on principally one leg at age 37, and report two assists, was simply one other instance of how essential he’s to San Jose and why the workforce needs him again this summer time earlier than he can turn into a free agent.

“Principally his knee is floating there,” coach Peter DeBoer stated. “It was as brave an effort, him doing what he did, as I’ve ever seen. And I didn’t see a drop off in his recreation. I do know the purpose manufacturing wasn’t there. I feel there’s some solutions for that, together with energy play and fatigue and a few issues like that. Till his degree drops the place he has to take a decreased position, that’s not even on my radar.”

The futures of Thornton and teammate Patrick Marleau are the most important questions for San Jose headed into the offseason. The 2 have been the face of the Sharks for years, with Marleau becoming a member of because the second-general draft decide in 1997 and Thornton coming in a commerce from Boston in 2005.

“I need to come again,” Thornton stated. “I feel this can be a Stanley Cup-caliber group and I feel I’m a bit of bit older and I understand how good this group is. In fact, I’d like to return again. However we’ll need to see. I’m positive we’ll be speaking.”

They’ve been two of the league’s most prolific gamers throughout their tenure, with Marleau scoring his five hundredth profession objective this season and Thornton recording his 1,000th help.

Thornton’s manufacturing fell a bit this season. His 50 factors have been his fewest in a non-lockout season since he was a youngster in Boston in 1998-ninety nine. Thornton was additionally a key a part of an influence play that was ranked twenty fifth within the common season after years of being on the prime of the league.


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