Posted: Sat December 21, 2013 10:17PM; Updated: Sat December 21, 2013 10:16PM

Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl to miss at least a month with knee injury

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Tomas Hertl has proved to be one of the NHL's top rookies and a solid contributor for San Jose.
Tomas Hertl has proved to be one of the NHL's top rookies and a solid contributor for San Jose.
Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- San Jose Sharks talented rookie forward Tomas Hertl will miss at least a month after being hurt in a knee-on-knee collision with Los Angeles Dustin Brown.

General manager Doug Wilson said Saturday the team is waiting for more information before knowing exactly how long Hertl will be sidelined after injuring his right knee Thursday.

"The swelling is pretty extensive still," Wilson said. "We'll know more hopefully in the next week or so. The projection is probably a minimum of a month right now."

Brown received a major penalty and game misconduct for the hit on Hertl. Wilson would not say whether he felt more punishment was warranted.

Hertl leads all rookies with 15 goals and 25 points so far this season. He has teamed with captain Joe Thornton and Brent Burns on a very productive line. Coach Todd McLellan will be forced to shuffle his combinations to make up for his absence.

The Sharks recalled forward Matt Nieto from San Francisco of the ECHL to take Hertl's place.

The 20-year-old Hertl is also a candidate to play for the Czech Republic in the Olympics in February if he is healthy. Wilson said it's too early to know whether that's an option.

"Right now the prognosis is a month, but we are prepared that it could be longer," Wilson said. "How much longer, we don't know."

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