Jake Guentzel could return for the Pittsburgh Penguins if the NHL season resumes from its pause caused by the coronavirus.
A recovery timeline for the forward was set at 4-6 months after he had shoulder surgery Dec. 31. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said Wednesday he doesn't expect Guentzel to require the full six months.
"If you take the shortest period, that would be the end of April," Rutherford said. "Obviously, you can do the rest if it's six months. I would expect that, knowing Jake Guentzel, that he's going to be ready. His rehab is going well."
Guentzel has remained in Pittsburgh while self-quarantined during the pause; NHL players have been directed to do so until at least April 4. Rutherford said he has been told there have not been any setbacks regarding Guentzel's recovery.
Guentzel was injured crashing into the end boards immediately after scoring a goal at 6:55 of the third period in a 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 30. He has 43 points (20 goals, 23 assists) in 39 games after he had an NHL career-high 76 points (40 goals, 36 assists) in 82 games last season.