Groin injuries ultimately ended Erik Karlsson's first season with the Sharks, but the defenseman says he won't be affected moving forward.
"Right now, it feels like it’s back to normal,” Karlsson told The Athletic's Kevin Kurz in a sit-down interview Thursday. " ... 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 underwent surgery groin surgery at the end of May after missing 27 of the Sharks' final 33 regular-season games. The defenseman initially injured his groin on Jan. 16, but returned to San Jose's lineup a month later and suited up for NHL All-Star Weekend at SAP Center in between. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Karlsson tweaked his groin on Feb. 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although Karlsson played in the Sharks' next game two days later, he played just 14:24 and would not play again until San Jose's regular-season finale on April 6.
The blue liner appeared hobbled during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Karlsson missed much of the third period in Game 4 of the Western Conference final against the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues after aggravating his groin, and played just 10:32 in Game 5.