After suffering a fractured fibula during a morning skate in New Jersey, San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture returned to practice on Nov. 21 — Monday, he was back out on the ice, seen participating for approximately 30 minutes, but still isn’t putting a specific timetable on his return, according to CSNBayArea’s Kevin Kurz.
Despite already surpassing the Sharks’ 4-to-6 week timeline for return, Couture believes the progress he’s made is right on schedule. “[I’m] where I thought I would be at this time,” he said.
Couture was seen skating hard, but indicated he isn’t quite where he wants to be yet, according to the report. Comfortable with his regular skating stride, the 26-year-old said stopping, cutting, and the explosive stride required to take off aren’t back yet.
“Until then, I’m not going to force my way out there and put myself in a bad spot,” Couture said.
It’s clear Couture, and the Sharks, are anxious for his return to lineup — the alternate captain has played just three games this season. Aside from the physical healing, the physiological element of stepping back onto the ice after such a surgery is paramount. Sharks fans familiar with the rushed rehabilitation of Jonathan Cheecho, or Torrey Mitchell’s “boot top fracture,” will agree with head coach Peter DeBoer’s words on the matter.
“When you have a significant injury like that where you’ve actually got surgically a rod and pins put in, I think the mental part is probably even tougher,” DeBoer said. “It’s mentally getting to the point where you’re not thinking about it as you’re going through a game or a practice. I think he’s in that stage, and every time he gets out there he looks more comfortable.”
Count on Couture requiring at least one full session of practice before making his return.