There is finally some good news for San Jose Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov.
Knyzhov, who’s been out since August because of a torn Achilles tendon, skated for the first time since his Aug. 10 surgery.
He joined the Sharks at the end of practice in a jumpsuit.
Might be one if Knyzhov’s first times on the ice this fall. pic.twitter.com/Va2AAxoz5B
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) November 8, 2022
“Obviously, still a lot of work to get done [to] get the strength back, but it feels pretty good skating,” Knyzhov said. “You know the [doctors] did a good job. Everything’s repaired the right way.”
The San Jose Sharks blueliner has had a lengthy injury history since his rookie breakout campaign in 2020-21. Knyzhov finished the COVID-shortened season with a sports hernia, which required off-season surgery. He also revealed that he had minor surgery to remove scar tissue from his ankle.
Then, his 2021-22 season ended before it even began. Knyzhov had a setback with his hernia surgery which caused an infection. He also revealed a groin injury which also required surgery.
“All you want to do is just recover and get back [on the ice],” Knyzhov said in regard to these two lost seasons. “It doesn’t matter if you’re out one game or if you’re out for a full season. It’s always tough to be in the stands.”
But all anybody, including Knyzhov and new San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn can do, is be patient.
“The plan is to keep monitoring him every day, and hopefully, he doesn’t have a setback,” Quinn told San Jose Hockey Now. “When he’s ready, he’s ready.”
The support around the injured defenseman has been significant. Knyzhov, who is a constant presence at Sharks Ice rehabbing, said that it would take too long to list everyone that has helped him along the way.
“Every day, I never felt like I was left alone,” Knyzhov said. “I was very thankful for that.”
Getting back on the ice in any fashion is a huge step in his recovery.
“I’m looking forward to putting my full gear on and skating with that. So yeah, that would be the next step,” Knyzhov said.
Although there is no concrete timetable for Knyzhov’s return this season, the expectation was that he would be out for at least six months.
“He’s ahead of schedule,” Quinn suggested.
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