SAN JOSE -- It never was completely clear during the 2018-19 season just how severe defenseman Erik Karlsson's injuries were. On Wednesday, the Sharks shined some light on the subject.
The team revealed via press release that the two-time Norris Trophy winner underwent successful surgery on Friday, May 31, "to address a groin injury he suffered" during the regular season. He already has started rehabilitation, according to the team, and is expected to be fully recovered for the start of the 2019-20 season.
Karlsson didn't reveal whether or not he needed surgery when he spoke to the press during exit interviews on May 23. He did say, however, that he's hopeful his ailments from the season wouldn't carry into the upcoming campaign.
"All I know is it’s not going to be anything that will be a problem moving forward," Karlsson said that day. "I’m going to be able to have a normal summer with training and everything and getting ready."
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Karlsson missed 29 games during the regular season because of the injury. Although he was able to bounce back at the start of the playoffs, he aggravated the injury and missed all of Game 6 of the Western Conference final against the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks' season ended in defeat in that game.
Karlsson, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has been in the news a fair amount recently, as speculation over where he will play next season continues to swirl. A recent report stated the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators -- Karlsson's former team -- are potential destinations for the highly sought-after defenseman, who evidently might want to return to Canada after one season in San Jose.