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San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl to return tonight against Anaheim

Tomas Hertl has been cleared to play and will return to the San Jose Sharks lineup tonight when they host the Anaheim Ducks, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.

Tomas Hertl will return to the San Jose Sharks lineup tonight after a lengthy layoff following surgery to repair ligaments in his right knee.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 20-year-old rookie has sidelined since Dec.19 when he was injured by Los Angele's Kings captain Dustin Brown, which required surgery to repair the PCL and MCL ligaments in Herlt's right knee.

Prior to the injury, Hertl looked to be steering towards becoming a Calder Trophy finalist as the league's rookie of the year. In his first 35 games in the NHL, Hertl tallied 15 goals, including three-game winners, and 10 assists. Despite his lengthy absence, Hertl ranks sixth in goals on San Jose's roster and is just one shy of tying Sharks' center, Tommy Wingels.

Hertle is widely remembered by NHL fans for his between-the-legs goal on then New York Rangers goaltender, Martin Biron, back in October. It was Hertl's fourth of the evening and the team's eighth, stirring up controversy of whether or not it was disrespectful to do with your team already up by five goals.

The Sharks will play tonight at SAP Center in San Jose before traveling to Phoenix where they will finish up their regular season schedule. San Jose will enter the first round of the playoffs, where they will square off against the Los Angeles Kings, with home-ice advantage.