SAN JOSE – Injured Sharks defenseman David Schlemko practiced with the team on Wednesday for the first time since hurting his right knee on March 2 against Vancouver.
He hopes to be available to play in time for Saturday’s game against Anaheim, as the Sharks wrap up their six-game homestand. The 29-year-old said he has to “get my legs under me a little bit” before he can get back into a game.
“Probably not [Thursday against St. Louis], but realistically Saturday,” he said. “That’s what I’m kind of shooting for. Obviously it’s not completely up to me, but that’s what I’m shooting for.”
Schlemko’s injury wasn’t originally supposed to keep him out this long, as he went on the team’s two-game road trip immediately after it happened. Still, there was no structural damage to the knee, according to the defenseman.
“Just kind of got my knee buckled into the boards there,” he said. “Just one of those things, takes some time to heal. A little longer than we thought and hoped. … Feel fortunate, at the same time, that it wasn’t more serious. Just excited to get back.”
In 51 games this season, his first in San Jose, Schlemko has 15 points (2g, 13a) while battling through three separate minor injuries.
Whether Schlemko would play against the Ducks even if he were healthy would be up to coach Pete DeBoer, of course. Dylan DeMelo has been paired with Brenden Dillon on the third pair in Schlemko’s spot for the past six games, and has points in the last two.
DeMelo registered an assist on Joe Pavelski’s third period goal against the Sabres on Tuesday in the Sharks’ 4-1 win.
“Just happy to be in the lineup and just trying to contribute as much as I can to the team,” DeMelo said after the game. “I'm not really known for getting points, but I've been able to get a couple points the last couple of games.
“Whatever I can do to help the team win, that's what I'm here for. It's been a lot of fun. It's definitely a lot better playing than sitting out for seven weeks. I'm just happy to be back in the lineup and [helping] the team win."
Melker Karlsson skated on his own on Wednesday, but is less likely to play before the end of the homestand, according to DeBoer. Karlsson has missed the last two games with a lower body injury.
“Nothing major has come up, no change, but…I would say doubtful for Saturday,” DeBoer said.
Karlsson has 19 points (9g, 10a) in 60 games.