Joe Thornton has been place on injured reserve this morning, for what Joe Pavelski describes as “taking precaution.”
It’s unknown what the injury is or when it occurred. Thornton had been replaced by Hertl on the top power play unit in practice the day before they faced the Los Angeles Kings, but we can’t say if that was to lighten his workload due to injury or not.
In his absence, the Sharks have called up Dylan Gambrell to make the five-game road trip out East. Rourke Chartier will likely slot into the line up first, but Gambrell will give them flexibility with a player who has a touch of NHL experience.
In his first game with the San Jose Barracuda, Gambrell centered the second line and put up two goals and one assist against the Ontario Reign, putting him third on the team for scoring, even after missing game two against the Bakersfield Condors last night.
The soonest Thornton will be able to return is on Sunday, when the Sharks face the New Jersey Devils in the final leg of their road trip, but it seems unlikely, as he did not travel with the team and not playing will allow him up to four extra days of rest before the Sharks face off against the Buffalo Sabres on October 18.
UPDATE: Thornton’s injury has been revealed as swelling in his right knee following the Kings game. This is the knee injured last January. Pete DeBoer confirmed to the Mercury News that it wasn’t injured on a specific play against the Kings, but was swollen after the game.