Karlsson skates with injured groin, no timetable for return to Sharks

SAN JOSE — Erik Karlsson skated Saturday for the first time since the San Jose Sharks defenseman reinjured his groin against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 26.

Karlsson worked with a trainer before the Sharks’ optional morning skate before their 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators at SAP Center.

There is no timetable on a return for Karlsson, who has missed eight straight games.

“A good sign,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “Out there, no setbacks, no pain. A first step, obviously. We’re not close yet, but that’s a good first step.”

Karlsson, who did not speak to the media after his skate, told The Athletic on Feb. 8 that he’ll 100 percent be ready to play in time for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks would have clinched a berth with a win against the Predators.

Video: SJS@EDM: Karlsson’s snap shot eludes Talbot

San Jose (43-21-8) is one point behind the Calgary Flames for first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

The two-time Norris Trophy winner voted as the NHL’s best defenseman missed nine games from Jan. 19-Feb. 14 because of his initial groin injury. He returned for four games but had a setback in a 4-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 23. He then sustained an injury to a different area of his groin during the loss to the Bruins three days later.

Karlsson has 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 52 games this season, his first with the Sharks after being acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators with forward Francis Perron for centers Chris Tierney and Joshua Norris, forward Rudolfs Balcers and defenseman Dylan DeMelo on Sept. 13.

Karlsson can become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Selected by the Senators with the No. 15 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, he has 563 points (129 goals, 434 assists) in 679 games through 10 NHL seasons with Ottawa and San Jose.

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