Havlat close to a return

October 10, 2011, 8:41 pm
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A casual observer at Sharks practice on Monday would have no idea that newcomer Martin Havlat is still considered injured.

Havlat was a full participant in the hour-plus long skate today at Sharks Ice, and by the look of things, you would have to think hell be in the lineup when the Sharks visit Anaheim on Friday for their second game of the season.

Marty is involved in everything right now, so hes that close. Really, all were waiting on is the doctor now, said coach Todd McLellan.

Havlat, who had shoulder surgery in May, will have to be cleared by team physicians before the club can say for sure if he will make his Sharks debut against the Ducks.

Were still taking it day-by-day, but its feeling better and better every day and were working on it, said Havlat. Its getting stronger.

Havlat watched from afar as the Sharks hosted the Coyotes in the home opener on Saturday night. Not being out there was frustrating, but hes encouraged by what he saw in the 6-3 win.

Very good, he described his new teams performance. We have another five or six days before Game 2 so its basically like getting ready for Game 1 again. But, the guys played very good.

Its always frustrating if you have to watch your team play. You want to be on the ice and help everybody to win the games. The situation is what it is. Especially coming to a new team, I wanted to get used to a new system and linemates. I wanted to get in some preseason games, but unfortunately I couldnt. Ill have to do it when I get in the lineup.

Niemi update, Marleau sick

Antti Niemi, on the other hand, didnt participate in practice as much as fellow goaltenders Thomas Greiss and Harri Sateri.

From my understanding, hes close, said McLellan, before adding he still hadnt talked to the team trainers or doctors yet about his number one netminder.

Greiss made 26 saves on Saturday to record the win, and regardless of whether Niemi is healthy by the weekend, could conceivably start in one of the back-to-back games. San Jose hosts the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau did not practice as he was home sick.