GLENDALE, Az. – Tomas Hertl’s road trip has ended one day early.

The Sharks center, injured in a 3-2 loss in St. Louis on Thursday, flew back to San Jose on Friday morning from Arizona where the Sharks play the Coyotes on Saturday night. 

When asked if Hertl would be getting an MRI in San Jose, coach Pete DeBoer said: “Yeah, pictures, MRI, that kind of thing.”

The 23-year-old was hurt in the second period, possibly when he collided with the Blues’ Jori Lehtera. Officially it’s a lower body injury, but replays showed it could be his right knee, which Hertl tore up in his rookie season and injured less severely in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, causing him to miss the rest of that series with the Penguins as well as the World Cup of Hockey in September.

In 17 games, Hertl has four goals and five assists for nine points. He has skated primarily as the team’s third line center for the past month.

“Any time you’re sending a guy back early on a trip to get looked at there’s concern, but you look around the league, everyone is dealing with injuries," DeBoer said. "A lot of injuries to key guys. We’ve got to continue on here.”

“He’s been through a lot for a young guy. He was playing great, arguably been one of our best players through the first [17] games and after a summer of rehab. You feel for him.”


DeBoer left the door open for Melker Karlsson to return on Saturday. The winger has missed the last two games with an injury around his left foot/ankle area after blocking a Victor Hedman shot on Nov. 12 in Tampa Bay.

Karlsson did not practice with the team on Friday at Gila River Arena, but he’s “moving much better today. All the [x-rays] have been negative,” DeBoer said.

Brent Burns and Chris Tierney, both of whom went to the dressing room for brief periods against the Blues, took maintenance days. It’s unlikely any players will be brought up from the Barracuda, though.

“We have enough players here right now even in a worst-case scenario tomorrow, so probably [no recalls],” DeBoer said.