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Ward out indefinitely for Sharks

Forward has shoulder injury, hopeful to return this season

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward will be out indefinitely because of a shoulder injury.

Ward left a 5-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday at 7:43 of the second period after Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt hit him into the half-wall in the Vegas zone, injuring his right shoulder.

Ward, who said it is the same shoulder he had rotator cuff surgery on during the offseason, said he will have X-rays and an MRI when the swelling subsides, and hopes to return this season.

"Yeah, for sure," he said Saturday. "I think even this morning getting a little more movement so I'm kind of optimistic for sure. Just waiting to hopefully get better as quick as possible. ... Pretty lucky actually, because I thought the way it felt after, I thought I kind of had some numbness too in my arm. I felt actually pretty lucky the next day when I woke up.

"I took a good little pop there. Right now it's just kind of re-evaluating. It's kind of day to day. At first I was a little worried for sure, but kind of woke up a lot better. Just basically come in here and get some treatment done again and hopefully kind of get back in, hopefully soon, but I don't know when. ... No surgery needed, which is good. I was thankful for that.", 37, has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 46 games this season, the last on a three-year contract he signed July 3, 2015.

"You've got a veteran guy that's out with a significant injury, that's the disappointing part," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told the San Jose Mercury News on Friday. "You feel for him. It's a loss for us. Leadership in the room and on the ice, and it's the veteran guy that's in the last year of his contract that's playing for another chance to keep playing next year. It's a tough blow personally and from a team standpoint."

The Sharks host the the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, CITY, NBCSCA, NHL.TV). DeBoer said forward Jannik Hansen will replace Ward in the lineup.

San Jose (28-18-8, 64 points) is tied with the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division, 12 points behind first-place Vegas.

The Sharks are without forward Joe Thornton, who is expected to be out several more weeks after injuring his right knee Jan. 23. They are 2-4-1 without him in the lineup.

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