As the San Jose Sharks skated onto Sharks Ice at San Jose for practice on Monday, they were joined by center Torrey Mitchell
. Mitchell, who has been battling tendonitis, recently returned from a five-game stint in Worcester for a conditioning assignment.
“Torrey is back from Worcester and was lucky enough to get in five games,” Head Coach Todd McLellan said.
During his five games, Mitchell posted three points, including a goal and an assist. But the numbers weren’t important to Mitchell.
“It was fun to play in a real hockey game again,” Mitchell said. “It was a conditioning assignment to get in shape. It felt better and better. I’ve rehabbed for such a long time. It was nice to play.”
When Mitchell went to Worcester last year, he suffered a relapse that curtailed him until the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“It was good to make it through two games,” Mitchell said.
For the morning on-ice session, Mitchell skated between Frazer McLaren and Jody Shelley.
The Sharks had a pretty hard skate on Monday following the Sunday day off.
“I asked how many times they had been bag skated before today and they said zero,” Mitchell said about the tiring practice.
Mitchell will soon appear in a game. When? Well, that’s another story.
“I’m getting there,” Mitchell said. “I feel like I’m ready to play. I don’t know (the plan), but I feel like I’m ready for the call.”
“He’s still on the IR,” McLellan said. “He’s still got work to do. I don’t want to put him in a situation where he isn’t ready to succeed. If I do, he’s suspect to a big hit to his confidence or physically.”
“The timing was a reason,” Mitchell said about his American Hockey League stint. “You go down there and it gets better playing in games.”
That said, the games at the AHL level are different than even a normal off day in the National Hockey League.
“The practices here are more high-tempo,” Mitchell said. “Going from games there to practice here is a step up.”
One person who was happy to see Mitchell was one of his linemates for today’s practice, Shelley.
has been through so much the last 15-16 months,” Shelley said. “He still walks around with a smile.”
Shelley, who hasn’t played since Nov. 7 vs. Pittsburgh, is getting closer to a return to action.
“Things are good,” Shelley said. “There are things I’ve got to be smart about.”
Along with defenseman Rob Blake (on Injured Reserve since Nov. 5 with an upper body injury), Shelley could see action this week.
“Jody won’t be ready (for Wednesday vs. Chicago) and Blake won’t be ready until the (post-Thanksgiving) Canada trip,” McLellan said. “Jody has some work to do as well.”
WHAT ABOUT SETO?
Right wing Devin Setoguchi, who hasn’t played the last two games, did some skating following practice today.
“I was out yesterday for a little bit, to lace them up and have a good skate,” Setoguchi said. “There’s progress and we’re trying to get it better. We’ll see how it goes skating more and more each day.”
The defensive pairings were juggled at practice as Dan Boyle
, who blocked a shot with his foot at Anaheim on Saturday, took the day off. McLellan gave him a maintenance day, something he occasionally does with his veteran players.
McLellan noted the club’s health, while getting better, may still require some help from Worcester for Wednesday’s game vs. Chicago.
“We’ll likely need another recall,” McLellan said.
The Sharks will play hosts to Chicago on Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. game at HP Pavilion and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The contest will be available on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.