Couture is expected to miss up to six weeks with a fractured ankle that he suffered Tuesday night in the Sharks' 3-2 loss at the St. Louis Blues, general manager Doug Wilson confirmed Thursday. Couture was in a walking boot after Tuesday's game. He awkwardly slammed his left leg into the end boards in the second period.
The 30-year-old center has 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points to lead the Sharks. Couture was named to the NHL All-Star Game last week.
Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner hoped after the game that Couture's injury would be short term.
"It's big-time concerning. Even if it's a couple games or a couple weeks ... he's a captain, he's a leader, a catalyst for our offense," Boughner said. "If he's missing out of our lineup, that's a big loss. I think that other guys are going to have to step up in his absence, for sure."
Couture has been one of the few highlights for the Sharks during a frustrating campaign. San Jose has a record of 19-22-4. The Sharks' 42 points put them nine out of the final wild-card spot.
"It's always tough when you see a teammate get hurt, but hopefully he comes back soon. Because we need him," San Jose forward Tomas Hertl said.