Nikolai Knyzhov told the media on Saturday morning that he is still processing the last year, and that he doesn’t want to come to conclusions on what lessons he is taking away from his lost season just yet.
Having missed every game in the 2021-22 season due to injuries and an infection, the San Jose Sharks defenseman is looking to return this fall with a renewed fire. Putting up ten points in 56 games in top-four minutes in his 2020-21 rookie season, Knyzhov looked to be on the rise within the Sharks organization, and many were looking forward to seeing what he could do in his sophomore stint. But it wasn’t to be, as Knyzhov went through a painful injury ordeal that including at least two surgeries and three months on antibiotics.
The San Jose Sharks, however, want to find out if Nikolai Knzyhov can get back on track, so they signed Knyzhov to a one-year contract extension on Apr. 1, showing faith that he can return for the upcoming season and continue to impress.
Nikolai Knyzhov, on how the team should reflect on the year:
There’s a lot of take away from it a lot to learn from it. And I think if we all kind of personally sit down and do, you know, our thinking, on our personal part, and then like, kind of look at what we have accomplished as a team, we can take away and bring a lot of good things into next season. That’s the way I see it.
Knyzhov, on his injury:
Yeah, it was just groin injuries. I don’t want to go in detail too much, but it was pretty much just some groin injuries and infection.
I think the infection [in October] was the main part. I feel good. I feel great. It’s just the infection, was the one that kind of knocked you down for a while. That’s, I think, where it felt the worst. That was the worst point. That lasted for 12 weeks.
So I was on heavy antibiotics for 12 weeks. That was the worst part, I think, but that kind of stuff, it’s gone now. It’s out of my body, so I’m happy about it and just can’t wait to get back to work.
Knyzhov, on his struggles to come back from injury:
Yeah, you know, definitely was a roller coaster, like, I didn’t have a set date, where they were gonna tell me you’re gonna be good and you’re going to be able to play. I was just kind of going off like, week-by-week, month-by-month once I got the infection. I just kind of learned to live day by day and just do my best where I can.
If I was able to come here and watch the games that, I did. If I was able to come here and do some kind of workouts or upper body, I did that. If there were days where I couldn’t get off the couch and I just had to stay at home and try to get healthy, I did that too. So it was a roller coaster, like I said.
It happens, and sometimes injuries don’t go the way you want them to go. They give you a set date, and sometimes it doesn’t happen, it takes longer, and that’s okay. I learned a lot of things this season, and I’m gonna implement it this summer. I think I have the most desire that I’ve never had before to come back and play and train. It’s going to be great for my off-season this summer. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring more to the table next season.
Knyzhov, on where he’s at in his return:
I’m definitely doing, right now, the most I have done all season. I’m probably at the best point right now, after everything I’ve been through, but I’m still not 100%. We’re still getting back into it. We’re kind of in the middle of rehab right now.
I think right now, I can be a little more confident saying that I’m on the right track, and that everything will be great, everything will be good, and by summer time hopefully I’m 100% so I’m able to kind of get off to the races and get my body in shape and start moving towards the next season.
Knyzhov, on what it’s going to take get back to 100%:
Just time. It’s just gonna take some time.
I had multiple surgeries, infection, and it’s really just a time game. It’s just waking up and seeing how I feel tomorrow. If I feel like I can push more, I’ll push more. There’s time where I need to give a couple of days off, like this week, and I feel great doing that. So you know, it needs recovery sometimes and yeah, just basically that, just time.
Knyzhov, on potentially being back this fall:
Yep, the projection is there and, you know, they had that same projection exactly a year ago in May. (laughs) There’s just hope there. I hope I’m ready at this point. I don’t want to say that I won’t be, I don’t want to say that it will happen, but as of now, I feel like I will. I feel great right now.
Knyzhov, on when he plans to head home:
I will head back to Scottsdale, later in May. For now, the way I see this is I gotta stay here and make sure I’m healthy and I’m 100% before I head back into training. Probably be here until the end of May.
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