Sharks: Karlsson gives a general timeframe for his return. This is why Merkley was scratched, and a new injury has emerged.


Bob Boughner stated that Erik Karlsson, the San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson, could be back in mid-to-late February.


Sharks coach Bob Boughner stated Wednesday that Erik Karlsson could be back in March, after he has recovered from surgery to fix a torn muscle in the left forearm.

Boughner stated Karlsson could be absent for as many as 10 to 12 weeks, or as little as eight weeks depending on how quickly he heals from his surgery Monday in San Jose.

The Sharks have 25 games remaining between now and March 31, starting with Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals. They will play three more times over the next six days, before playing the Edmonton Oilers on February 14.

Boughner stated that they were hoping that the February break would be the right time and that he will be back by the middle of March or the end. “I think that’s an aggressive plan. Erik has beat other timelines in previous surgeries. We’re hopeful that he’ll be back in March because he’s such a fast healer.

San Jose (21-19-2), as it enters Wednesday’s Capital One Arena game tied for fourth in the Pacific Division, hopes to stay in the playoff hunt.

Andrew Cogliano, Sharks winger, said that he sometimes is a one-man breakout. He gets pucks out of our ends quickly because he makes great plays. But you have to keep going. It’s what it is. It’s unfortunate to him, and it’s unfortunate to us.”

Boughner stated Karlsson could have continued playing, but he decided to have the operation now in the hope that he would be fully fit for the last month of the regular season.

“Do we have him in our day? Does that mean he can’t practice?” He can only play, and even when playing, he only plays at 60-70 percent.” Boughner stated. Or do you fix it, fix it correctly and get him back to health? It was a difficult decision. Erik wanted to be there, but it was difficult for him.

Logan Couture, Sharks captain, said that he tried to work through it for a while but didn’t want us to be disappointed. We appreciate his efforts to get through it, even though it wasn’t the result he wanted. He had to do the best for his body after an injury like this.

FORTONIGHT: Nicolas Meloche will wear Wednesday’s dress and be paired against Jaycob Megna, according to reports. Marc-Edouard Valasic and Brent Burns will be paired together. Radim Simek will be paired up with Marc-Edouard Vasic.

After Boughner’s Saturday 7-1 loss to Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Merkley will be a healthy scratch on Wednesday. Merkley was on the ice for three even strength goals against, and had an assist on Megna’s goal.

Boughner stated that Merkley was not alone in his struggles but said, “it’s okay to watch a game.”

“His offensive skills and puck movement are very solid. But defensively, I feel it’s more urgent and requires more detail. That comes with more experience. It’s part of playing and NHL practices.

Although Merkley has been a part of the Sharks’ second power play unit in recent games, Boughner’s Wednesday decision is a clear indication that the coaching staff has yet to make a final decision on who will be the 2018 draft pick.

After Saturday’s loss to the Lightning, Boughner did not mention names but stated that the Sharks were easy to play against in their zone. He also lamented the softness of their defense.

Boughner stated that “the young men struggled.” Without naming names, it was clear that many young men struggled and didn’t appear ready.

In 5-on-5 play this season, Washington was actually slightly more productive than Tampa Bay. The Capitals entered Wednesday with 98 goals against the Lightning’s 95. Both teams have played 43 matches.

Wednesday’s Boughner stated, “Ryan is a young man, he’s digging into that second unit, trying his best to find his game.” His game has had some bright spots and good spots. There have also been down nights like many young men. His game against Tampa was not something I was crazy about. He’s not alone.

NEW INJURY The Sharks announced that goalie Adin HILL, who was brought on to replace James Reimer, suffered a lower-body injury. He is now considered day-today.

Reimer will start Wednesday, and Zach Sawchenko will be backing up. If Hill isn’t available, Sawchenko may make his NHL debut in those games.

Hill is currently 9-11-1 and has a.901 save rate in 24 games this season. Reimer has a record of 5-4-2 in 12 career games against Washington. He also has a.930 save rate and 2.37 goals against average.