Joel Ward Out, But Not Long Term

The San Jose Sharks will again be without forward Joel Ward on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Ward was driven into the boards head first by Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki on Friday, suffering an upper-body injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game. Ward saw a doctor and said Tuesday that he expects to be back in the lineup on December 28, when the team returns from holiday break.

“Doc said nothing too major,” Ward told the press on Tuesday. “I knew that I went into the boards pretty hard. I think the next day I was stiff, all upper body. I was a little nervous, but got back some good news from the Doc.”

Ward currently sits fourth on the team in points with 10 goals and 23 points. He’s on pace for a career year. Even with these two games out of the lineup, he’s on track for 25 goals (career-high 24 goals) and 57 points (career-high 49 points).

It remains to be seen if the late-blooming 35-year-old can keep up the pace, but he did set his career-high marks in goals and points at age 33 and didn’t enter the NHL until age 26. Even if he doesn’t get there this year, his peak came later than most forwards.

In other Sharks news, the team will get forward Melker Karlsson back in the lineup Tuesday, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. He missed Sunday’s game and Monday’s practice with flu-like symptoms.

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