SAN JOSE -– Dainius Zubrus could return to the Sharks’ lineup as soon as Thursday in Arizona, but forward Raffi Torres’ future remains in limbo.
Zubrus, 37, has missed the last six games with an upper body injury, but participated in his first full practice with the team on Wednesday. He was with fellow fourth liners Chris Tierney, Mike Brown and Melker Karlsson.
After practice Zubrus said he expects to be ready for the Sharks' game against the Coyotes, although coach Pete DeBoer only termed him as “day-to-day.”
“That was a big step today getting him a full-contact practice,” DeBoer said.
Zubrus will apparently have to wear some extra protection when he gets back in the lineup. After the skate, he was spotted trying on some extra padding around his midsection.
He didn’t remember the specific game or incident in which he was originally hurt.
“Played with it for about a week and kept getting worse, so eventually had to get some rest and heal whatever was injured,” he said.
In 17 games with the Sharks, Zubrus has two points (1g, 1a) and a plus-three rating.
Torres, meanwhile, remains with the AHL Barracuda on a conditioning assignment. He skated in two road games with the Sharks’ minor league affiliate last Friday and Saturday, but was unable to play at home on Monday or practice on Tuesday. The Barracuda had off on Wednesday, and resume their schedule on the road in Ontario on Friday.
“From what I know he’s down on conditioning, still,” DeBoer said. “I know he had a minor setback and then he didn’t play the other night. Where he’s at, as of today, I don’t know.”
Torres, whose 41-game suspension ended on Jan. 12, indicated earlier this month he was unsure if he would be able to continue his career due to multiple problems with his surgically repaired right knee.