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Sharks’ Logan Couture back on his skates

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			Sharks’ Logan Couture back on his skates

SAN JOSE — Logan Couture made his return to the ice before Sharks practice on Wednesday, the first time he had skated since he took a puck to the mouth March 25.

Couture skated for 10 minutes wearing a full shield over his face. He said he plans to participate in the team’s morning skate Thursday.

The Sharks alternate captain offered no timetable for his return to game action. He said he first would need to make it through a full practice, take contact, get his timing back and improve his conditioning. At this point, he’s struggling to catch air on the ice because he has an arch bar on his bottom teeth and a bond on the upper row.

“I want to be back tomorrow if I could but it’s just not realistic at this time,” Couture said. “We’re going to try to get back as soon as possible. I don’t know when that’s going to be. I hate watching games, I’m going to try as best as I can to get back.”

Couture said he’s off pain medication and is sleeping well, but eating, breathing and talking are a struggle. At this point, it’s taking him, “about 40 minutes,” to finish a meal.

As he makes his return to practice, the 28-year-old center will also need to adjust to the challenges of playing with a shield, which he’s never worn in his life.

“It’s seeing the puck with the mask,” he said. “It’s tough to look down and find the puck on the ice, but that’s what I’m going to have to get used to.”

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