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Sharks rookie F Tomas Hertl makes late-season return to lineup following knee surgery

SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Jose Sharks rookie forward Tomas Hertl is back less than four months after major knee surgery.

Hertl was activated before Friday night's game against Colorado. Hertl was injured in a knee-to-knee collision with Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown on Dec. 19 at Staples Center. He had surgery on Dec. 31 to repair the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and has been skating with the team in recent weeks.

Hertl's return provides a big boost before the playoffs begin next week against the Kings. The 20-year-old Hertl was a strong Calder Trophy candidate with 15 goals and 10 assists in his first 35 games, including a four-goal performance against the New York Rangers in his third game.

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