Wingels hurt, Vandermeer close to return

January 20, 2012, 9:13 pm
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SAN JOSE The Sharks suffered another injury to their forward group in Thursday nights loss to Ottawa, as Tommy Wingels was hurt in the third period. Hell miss at least the next three games leading up to the NHL All-Star break with an upper body injury, according to Todd McLellan.

Wingels was recalled on Jan. 5, and was skating on Joe Thorntons line along with winger Joe Pavelski in the previous two games with Ryane Clowe out.

Wingels collided with Pavelski and Ottawas Chris Neil in front of the Sharks bench with 15:34 remaining in the third period, and appeared to grab his right arm in pain on what seemed like an innocent play.

With Wingels out, forward Andrew Desjardins took some shifts in his place late against the Senators. Thats how they lined up for Fridays practice at Sharks Ice, too.

We have some options, but probably no different from what weve been doing, McLellan said. Well try and audition a bunch of people. We cant just focus on the one player thats auditioning there, the other two have to perform and help out in that area, too.

Desjardins seems likely to get the first crack at it, though, just as Jamie McGinn did on Tuesday against Calgary before Wingels replaced him after the first period of the 2-1 shootout win.

Its just another opportunity, Desjardins said. Try to stick to my game and still do the same things. Hopefully, it works out.

Desjardins returned on Thursday from a two-game absence with to a head injury after getting hit illegally by Columbus Dane Byers last Saturday, playing just over 11 minutes. His first shift was a good one, as he set up Brad Winchester for what was the Sharks only goal against Ottawa.

He tried not to shy away from any physical play, despite the frightening moment his last time out.

You try to think about, youre healthy, youre good to go, and that youre ready to play, Desjardins said. You try not to stay away from physical stuff just because of that reason, because again, youre healthy and back ready to play. You move on, and get your game going to how it was before.

The Sharks are expected to recall a forward from Worcester in time for Saturday afternoons game in Vancouver.

Frazer McLaren remains on waivers until Saturday, at which time he will be reassigned to Worcester if he goes unclaimed.

Vandermeer close

Sharks defenseman Jim Vandermeer could make his return on the teams three-game road trip through Canada, McLellan said.

His injury, right now I would say its probably 99 percent, said the coach. Now, its about getting his game, his foot speed and reaction time back. So, were that close. If we get the clearance, it would be nice to get him in before the break so he doesnt go longer.

Vandermeer has missed the last 20 games with a left hand injury.