Tomas Hertl injury: Sharks forward could miss more than a month

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose could be without its top rookie for an extended stretch after he took a knee-to-knee hit Thursday night.

Tomas Hertl has to be considered one of the front-runners for the Calder Trophy, a solid candidate for the Czech Republic Olympic team, and one of the Sharks top contributors all season. But on Thursday night, an ugly knee-on-knee hit delivered by the Kings Dustin Brown knocked the rookie out of the game, and it's now being reported Hertl may miss up to a month, or even longer, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie:

If Hertl was to miss a month, he could return just in time for the Olympics, although that would still be a stretch. Any absence of over a month would rule Hertl out of playing in Sochi. For San Jose, Hertl was second on the team in goals, and fifth in points. Hertl's 15 goals and 25 points also both currently lead all rookie skaters. The Sharks currently sit third in the pacific division behind the Ducks and Kings, and fifth overall in the Western Conference.

For the hit, Brown was assessed a five minute major for kneeing, and also ejected from the game.There hasn't been any supplemental discipline announced for the play, which can be seen below.

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