Sharks forward Raffi Torres underwent surgery to repair the torn ACL in his right knee Thursday morning, taking a player who helped San Jose turn its season around last spring out of the lineup for months.
General Manager Doug Wilson would not offer an estimate as to how many games Torres would miss, saying only lthat he was expected back sometime this season. But recovery from the procedure he underwent usually takes from three to five months.
That could push Torres’s return until after the NHL’s break for the 2014 Winter Olympics in mid-February.
“We want him back 100 percent and this procedure will get him back 100 percent,” Wilson said, noting Torres went “into this procedure extremely healthy and extremely fit.”
Torres damaged his knee at 6:34 of the second period in the Sept. 20 exhibition game against the Anaheim Ducks when he collided with forward Emerson Etem. It was considered a freak accident as Etem had extended his leg behind him to avoid going offsides.
Team surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting performed the ACL repair in his Fremont offices.
For now, Wilson said, the plan is to give players in the Sharks organization a chance to fill the void created by Torres before turning to trades or free agents. Prospects Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto and Freddie Hamilton have all impressed the coaching staff in the exhibition season, and Wilson noted that fourth liners such as James Sheppard and Andrew Desjardins could also push for more ice time.
Torres was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes at the NHL trade deadline and had two goals and six points in 11 games with San Jose before the playoffs, where his overtime goal beat the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of the first round.
Even more than his scoring, Torres’s high-energy style of play had an impact on the team and seemed to be contagious.
His series-long suspension for an illegal hit on Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll proved costly as the Sharks were eliminated in seven games.