The veteran centre had the procedure on Monday after revealing that he’d been playing through a torn ACL and MCL for the final four games of the Sharks’ first-round series against the Edmonton Oilers.
“Basically his knee is floating there,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said Monday. “It was as courageous an effort, him doing what he did, as I’ve ever seen.”
Thornton suffered the injury on April 2 and sat out just two weeks before joining his team in Game 2 of Round 1.
“I’ve been in this business a long time,” San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said Monday. “You see a player play with that type of injury tells you all you need to know about him.”
Per a Sharks press release, Thornton will be back in good health for the start of the 2017-18 NHL season. As for which team’s sweater he’ll be wearing, that’s still up in the air.
Thornton will be a free agent on July 1, but has made it clear that he wants to remain in San Jose.
“I want to come back,” Thornton told reporters. “I think this is a Stanley Cup-calibre team and I think I’m a little bit older and I realize how good this team is. Of course, I’d like to come back. But we’ll have to see. I’m sure we’ll be talking.”