Kevin Labanc had hoped to hit the ice tonight against the Stars.
But instead, the San Jose Sharks winger, out since mid-December after shoulder surgery, might be put on ice for the rest of the season.
Labanc saw a shoulder specialist in Los Angeles on Thursday, hoping that would be the final step to getting back into the game.
“Everything looks great. They’re happy with his progress, the rehab and the healing going on,” San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said after morning skate.
Great, except Kevin Labanc was conspicuously absent from the ice this morning after being cleared for contact earlier this week.
“But I think abundance of caution, there’s a chance that they want to look at the risk-reward, see how many games are left in the season and is it worth it or not,” the coach added. “The more time he has, obviously the better the rehab process is going to be. It might come to a point in time where we might shut him down for the season.”
Earlier this week, Labanc talked about finishing the year strong, but instead, he might be finished for the year. The San Jose Sharks are obviously far from the playoffs, and the 26-year-old’s injury is of the variety that, according to Boughner, could benefit from even more strengthening.
This is a far cry from earlier this week, when even Boughner hoped that Kevin Labanc would re-establish himself as a top-six forward and a power play fixture to close this campaign out.
It’s been a star-crossed season for the playmaking winger, who has just six points in 21 games this year after averaging over half a point from 2017-21.
“The doctors have all said that it looks good and they’re happy, it’s just time,” Boughner said. “It’s a major surgery and it just needs time.”
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