Erik Karlsson said he will be 100 percent this season for the San Jose Sharks after recovering from offseason groin surgery.
"Right now, it feels like it's back to normal," the defenseman told The Athletic in remarks published Sept. 5. "... It shouldn't be a problem that I have again."
Karlsson signed an eight-year contract to remain with the Sharks on June 17 instead of becoming an unrestricted free agent. He had surgery to repair a groin injury sustained Jan. 16 and made worse in late February after he returned to playing.
Karlsson said if he had surgery in January, he likely would have missed the rest of the season. Instead, he continued to play and had 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 53 regular-season games.
He had 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games but did not play in the third period of Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues on May 19 or when they were eliminated in Game 6 two days later.
"Now it feels that it's something that shouldn't affect anything else moving forward," Karlsson said.
Video: Erik Karlsson's top highlights
Karlsson, who won the Norris Trophy voted as the best defenseman in the NHL in 2012 and 2015 while playing for the Ottawa Senators, sustained a lacerated Achilles tendon in 2013 and a foot injury in the 2017 playoffs that required surgery.
"This is the first time with the groin," said Karlsson, who was traded to San Jose last Sept. 13. "I don't know what happened, but the other ones there's nothing I could have done about it. It's not something that I worry too much about."
The 29-year-old has been skating for two and a half weeks and took part in an informal scrimmage with Sharks teammates in San Jose on Thursday, the website said.
"Honestly, it probably felt pretty good sooner than I expected, but I still took the appropriate time that the surgeons wanted for it to be healed," Karlsson said.