The San Jose Sharks placed veteran Joe Thornton on injured reserve due to swelling in his right knee, the team annouced on Sunday.
The 39-year-old pivot has no timetable for return after sustaining the injury after a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.
"He had a little bit of swelling after the last game, and rather than continue on the road and risk anything with it, we're going to take the safe route and get him home and get it looked at," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said after the team's practice on Sunday. San Jose will face the New York Islanders on Monday.
Thornton has had multiple surgeries on his knees, tearing his ACL and MCL in his left leg late in the 2017 season, and then experiencing the same issue in his right leg in 2018.
Thornton has posted an assist in two games this season, the 21st of his career. He became one of 37 players to play in 21 NHL seasons, joined this season by fomer teammate and current Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau, Pittsburgh's Matt Cullen and Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara.
The No. 1 pick in 1998—one ahead of Marleau—Thornton is closing in on multiple milestones. He is just three goals shy of the 400 mark and his 1,031 assists are two away from tying Mario Lemieux for 11th on the all-time list. He could become the 11th NHLer to collect at least 400 goals and 1,000 assists (every eligible player to achieve the feat has been enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame). With 1,495 NHL games under his belt, he's closing in on becoming the 19th player in leauge history to hit 1,500. He curently ranks 16th with 1,428 points, 29 points behind No. 15, Teemu Selanne.