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Couture Talks Injury: ‘When you’re injured, your mind does some crazy things’

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Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

There was a surprise appearance at the end of San Jose Sharks morning skate today.

For the first time since mid-October, captain Logan Couture jumped on the ice late after a morning skate or practice.

Noteworthy too, Couture was going hard at it with skating drills.

“I think physically and mentally, he’s in the best spot he’s been since the season started,” San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn shared today.

It’s been a long climb to even here for Couture. Before training camp, Couture suffered a lower-body injury that has nagged at him for the last three-to-four months. Since then, he’s skated on and off, but never seemed close to returning to play.

Couture declined to share the specific injury, though he did reveal that surgery was never a consideration.

“I can honestly say two months ago, I would wake up, and I didn’t know if I was ever gonna play in the NHL again,” Couture said today. “Something that I thought of many, many, many days.”

To be clear, Couture noted that those dark thoughts were his alone. All the medical staff around him was telling him that he would make his way back, eventually.

However, the indefinite nature of his injury was a mental challenge for him: “Waking up one day and feeling good, and waking up the next day and feeling really crappy – just not knowing – there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no timeline set.”

It appears that after some on-and-off skating in October, and then a setback, reported on Halloween, that Couture didn’t skate much if at all in November.

Couture Suffers Another Injury Setback, Barabanov Out 4-6 Weeks

“Rest is a weapon,” Quinn said on Nov. 4.

There was zero sense of a timeline for Couture in November, and perhaps some concern that he wouldn’t suit up at all this season.

“When you’re injured, your mind does some crazy things, have some crazy thoughts,” he admitted.

Couture says he started skating again on Dec. 3, and has been ramping up since then.

Latest on Couture, Emberson, Carpenter, Kunin & Benning’s Injuries

“Each day has been harder. [Mike Ricci] has pushed me more,” he reported. “My body’s responded well, so it’s all positive right now.”

Couture was clear to say that he’s still taking things one day at a time and considered himself week-to-week to return.

“You just can’t predict with his situation what could happen, what might happen,” Quinn said. “Gets up tomorrow, he feels good? Goes back on the ice again. That’s really the plan.”

So there’s no real timeline for his return yet, no concrete idea on how the San Jose Sharks will handle his rehab (perhaps a conditioning stint with the San Jose Barracuda?).

Couture is just happy to be here, his body doing what it’s supposed to be doing, for the first time in a while.

“At the start [of training camp], I was trying to do everything I could to get in the line-up,” he said. “But ultimately, just taking some time off, resting and rehabbing was what was gonna get me back healthy.”

Quinn is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the return of his captain: “With every passing day, yes. I do.”

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