Erik Karlsson said he will not return to the San Jose Sharks lineup "anytime soon" because of a groin injury but expects to be back before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs "100 percent," The Athletic reported Friday.
The defenseman, who has missed the past three games, has not played since a 4-1 loss at the Boston Bruins on Feb. 26. He missed nine games earlier this season with a groin injury that is different from his current injury, according to the report.
According to the report, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he was confident Karlsson would be back before the end of the regular season.
Karlsson has 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 52 games this season, his first with the Sharks after the two-time Norris Trophy winner was acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators with forward Francis Perron for centers Chris Tierney and Joshua Norris, forward Rudolfs Balcers and defenseman Dylan DeMelo on Sept. 13.
Selected by the Senators with the No. 15 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Karlsson has 563 points (129 goals, 434 assists) in 679 games through 10 NHL seasons with Ottawa and San Jose. He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The Sharks (40-19-8) are in second place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference, one point behind the Calgary Flames. San Jose plays the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBCSCA, FS-MW, NHL.TV).