San Jose Sharks place Thornton on Injured Reserve

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 18: Joe Thornton
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 18: Joe Thornton /

With Jumbo Joe on injured reserve due to swelling in his right knee, Dylan Gambrell cracks the San Jose Sharks roster for their upcoming eastern five-game road trip.

The San Jose Sharks have placed Joe Thornton on the injured reserve Sunday morning. Dylan Gambrell has been recalled from the AHL.

Joe Thornton suffered swelling in his surgically-repaired right knee after San Jose’s 3-2 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Friday, according to the Mercury News. As a precaution, Thornton flew back to San Jose on Saturday to meet with team doctors and will not make the beginning of the trip out east.

Thornton had surgery on his right knee in late January. He appeared to be in prime condition, collecting an assist on Timo Meier’s opening goal and skating over 14 minutes on the San Jose Sharks the first road game of the season against the Kings.

Thornton is not eligible to return to action until next Sunday when the Sharks play against the New Jersey Devils in the final game of the long road trip. Expect the 39-year-old veteran to wait until the San Jose Sharks return to SAP Center where they host the Buffalo Sabres on October 18.

At this point, it is still not determined whether Thornton’s swelling is a minor setback or a foreshadowing of a long-term injury. Either way, the Sharks hope for the best for the long-time  center in his 21st season in the National Hockey League.

In the meantime, Dylan Gambrell gets the nod from the San Jose Barracuda where he tallied two goals and an assist on the second line in the team’s 4-1 win over the Ontario Reign. Rourke Chartier will most likely fill in the gap in Thornton’s absence, centering the fourth line.

While Thornton’s injury is a slight blow, the San Jose Sharks still have a loaded roster with the addition of Erik Karlsson and extensions of Evander Kane, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl.

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The San Jose Sharks face off against the New York Islanders Monday at 10 a.m. PST.