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Havlat, Stuart sidelined as Sharks open camp

by Eric Gilmore /

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks forward Martin Havlat has been skating on his own for weeks but he wasn't cleared to practice Thursday when the team opened training camp and there is no timetable for his return.

Havlat had bilateral pelvic floor reconstruction surgery in early June. He was injured in the first period of the Sharks' Stanley Cup Playoff opener against the Vancouver Canucks. Havlat came back for Game 3 in the next round against the Los Angeles Kings but was reinjured in the first period, ending his season.

Havlat said he's feeling pretty good but doesn't know when he'll be cleared to practice.

"We'll see," Havlat said. "Right now we're working together with the medical team. We're doing everything as fast as we can [to] be back with the boys again."

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said Havlat absolutely will return to action this season but has no target date.

???That???s up to the medical staff and Marty," Wilson said. "Everything???s going well, the surgery went very well, and it was a pretty extensive procedure, and now we???re into the phase of the rehab. He???s in good hands with our medical staff, and Marty is a part of that process, too, to build the foundation for him to be able to play at 100 percent.???

Havlat has two years of his six-year, $30 million contract remaining. There was speculation the Sharks would part with Havlat, using a compliance buyout, but that wasn't an option after he had surgery.

Before camp opened, Havlat had a meeting with Wilson and talked to coach Todd McLellan.

"We're all on the same page," Havlat said. "I talked to Todd, talked to everybody. We're working with the medical staff and doing everything to be 100 percent and ready to go with the boys."

McLellan said, "He's been around his teammates, he's been around us as a coaching staff. He's been participating in as much stuff as he possibly can, and we look forward to the day that Marty is fully healthy and he can play uninterrupted, and we'll be excited about having him then."

Havlat played 35 games in 2006-07 for the Chicago Blackhawks because of a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery March 14. Havlat said recovering from that injury was much tougher than his current rehab.

"This is completely different than what I've done before," he said. "You can't even compare it to shoulders or anything like that. Shoulders are a much bigger injury than anything like that. That was much harder to rehab the shoulders than it is right now."

Havlat has missed 51 regular-season games since coming to the Sharks on July 3, 2011, from the Minnesota Wild in a trade for Dany Heatley. But until last season, he had only missed one of 72 career playoff games because of injury.

"You play hockey to be in the playoffs and have a chance to fight for the Cup," Havlat said. "That's why I came here. Unfortunately I couldn't do anything. This was something new and was hurting the most probably in the playoffs. It was not easy, but I was doing everything I could to get back on the ice with the boys and help them, but I just couldn't do it."

Defenseman Brad Stuart missed practice Thursday because of what McLellan called a lower-body muscle issue that cropped up during summer workouts.

"We didn't want to put him in a situation where we set him back at all," McLellan said.

Will Stuart be on the ice soon?

"I sure hope so," McLellan said. "He's not off for surgery or anything like that. When you're sore or you have some muscle issues, you don't want to go out there on Day One of training camp and go as hard you can. We'll manage him properly and look forward to having him back."

Defenseman Mirco Mueller, the Sharks' first-round pick (No. 18) in the 2013 NHL Draft, is sidelined with an injury he suffered on a cross-check in Game 1 of the Young Stars Classic at Penticton, British Columbia.

"Between the training staff and Mirco, he's got to figure out where he is as far as being bumped or bruised or being injured, and right now he's obviously injured," McClellan said. "He can't be out there, but when he's ready to go, we'll be excited to watch him."

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