Defenseman Brent Burns doubtful for Sunday in Calgary

January 16, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Sharks defenseman Brent Burns has yet to skate during training camp, and coach Todd McLellan said on Wednesday it’s now a safe assumption now that the 27-year-old blueliner won’t be in the lineup against Calgary on Sunday.

Burns, who had off-season sports hernia/groin surgery, was skating with several Sharks teammates in the days leading up to the start of camp on Sunday. Since then, he has yet to make an appearance. The Sharks have offered no time frame on when he could return, and when asked if the injury could be long-term, McLellan said, "I certainly hope not."

Fellow injured d-man Jason Demers (fractured right wrist) will also likely be out, but Demers continues to skate on his own. On Wednesday, Demers was on the ice with assistant coach Jim Johnson but left once the Sharks began a team scrimmage.

Justin Braun, who suffered a broken bone in his left hand in Finland, remains a full participant in practices and scrimmages and should be fine for Sunday’s season opener against the Flames.

All indications continue to point to 25-year-old Matt Irwin being in the starting lineup on Sunday. Irwin, who was in his fourth season in Worcester before being recalled for camp, was again paired with Dan Boyle during two scrimmage sessions on Wednesday.

"I think our back end is going to be fluid for a little bit," McLellan said.