Coach Derek Lalonde said Wednesday that Kane would be in the lineup for the Red Wings, who are 14-7-3 (31 points) and sit second in the Atlantic Division.
There was speculation that Kane would debut for Detroit on Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres, his hometown team growing up. But Lalonde opted to hold him out of the game, which Detroit won 5-3, saying he wanted Kane to get another practice in before determining his status for Thursday night.
Lalonde liked how the 35-year-old winger responded physically and gave Kane the green light to face the Sharks.
Kane hasn't played an NHL game since May 1, when the New York Rangers lost in Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Kane is six months removed from hip resurfacing surgery. He signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Red Wings on Nov. 28.
His new teammates have been anticipating his debut with Detroit since he signed.
"He's been around our team for a week and a bit. Man, what a superstar that guy is. He really is 'Showtime.' He carries that presence with him," defenseman Jake Walman told ESPN's "The Drop" podcast this week. "Just being able to pick his brain the last couple of days has been awesome. He's always got something positive to say. It's going to be a good fit for him and for us as well."
Kane had 57 points in 73 games last season with the Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he spent the first 16 years of his NHL career and won the Stanley Cup three times.