Brown: ‘If They’re Ready, I’m Ready’
SAN JOSE — Mike Brown will be ready to play when the San Jose Sharks call his number.
The Sharks reassigned forward Daniil Tarasov to AHL Worcester on Tuesday, making room for Brown’s inevitable return to the lineup.
Brown participated in full team activities at practice on Tuesday and said he “feels good”.
“I won’t know for sure until tomorrow,” Brown said, when asked if he’d be on the ice for the Sharks contest with the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on Wednesday. “I’m just dying to play, feels good; felt good today in practice.”
The 29-year-old forward has been sidelined since Dec. 9 with a broken right fibula. While he traveled with the team during its seven-game road trip, the schedule didn’t allow him to get too much work in.
“We only had one real full practice over the whole long trip, so I kind of understood that,” Brown said. “It’s good to get some full practices, contact. But it felt good today, so it’s good.”
Brown said if the Sharks coaching staff is ready for him to play on Wednesday, he’ll be ready to go.
“I’m ready to go, so if they’re ready, I’m ready,” Brown said.
Head coach Todd McLellan said Brown is “close”.
“We’ll look at the lineup, we’ll take a peak at what the rest of our group is doing as far as health-wise and decide from there,” he said. “But he will play at some point.”
The Sharks are 7-1 with Brown in the lineup this season, so he could be an asset as the team attempts to run the table over the last six games.
In addition to helping the squad on the ice, Brown is looking to build momentum for next season.
“For me, personally, it’s just get in, feel good about my game, feel good about my leg, all of my injuries,” Brown said. “Get in, get my work in and feel the game again; be out there, be that spark plug, same thing I always do and go into the end of the season feeling good.”
McLellan sees Brown’s return in a similar light.
“He wants to get back into the lineup and make sure his teammates know that he’s still here and willing to play hard for them, and we know he’ll do that,” McLellan said. “For him, it’s a case of satisfying that drive and that desire, plus the reward for sticking with the rehab is the ability to get in some games before it’s all said and done.”