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Karlsson's status for All-Star Game uncertain after leaving Sharks trip

Defenseman returns to San Jose for tests on lower-body injury

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Erik Karlsson was to undergo tests on his lower-body injury Tuesday, leaving the San Jose Sharks defenseman's status unclear for the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game at SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"He went home to California for some testing, and don't have the results and no update," coach Peter DeBoer said before the Sharks played the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Tuesday. "I guess it'll all be depending on what those (test) results are. I know he wants to play. If there's a possible way that he can play without hurting himself, then he's going to play."

Karlsson had been playing through the injury before he sat out a 6-2 loss at the Florida Panthers on Monday. The Sharks' mandatory five-day break follows 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, and they won't play their next game until Feb. 2 at home against the Arizona Coyotes, so Karlsson will have extensive rest to recover if he doesn't play in the All-Star Game.

Karlsson was one of three players selected to represent the host Sharks in the All-Star Game, along with forward Joe Pavelski and defenseman Brent Burns.

DeBoer said Karlsson's health will be the priority whatever he decides.

"He's going to make that decision with our doctors," DeBoer said. "It's as simple as if he can't do any more damage, I know he wants to play in the game. I'm sure the organization would love him in the game. If there's more damage to be done, no one in their right mind would play. So I think it's pretty simple."

Karlsson, who was acquired by the Sharks in a trade from the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13, 2018, is fourth on San Jose with 43 points (three goals, 40 assists) in 47 games this season and has played in five All-Star Games, including the past three.

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