SAN JOSE -- Defenseman Brent Burns, out since the start of the season with a lower body injury, was a full participant in the Sharks' 80-minute practice on Thursday. But Burns and coach Todd McLellan weren't about to offer a specific timeframe for a possible return to the lineup.

"Just working hard every day, just working to get back whenever I can," Burns said. "It's a process."

McLellan said he was going to sit down with Burns and the team's medical staff later Thursday to discuss a possible return date. Burns will make the Sharks' upcoming road trip, which begins Monday in Columbus.

"Even if he's not ready to play, he's got to start training himself and preparing like he is playing," McLellan said. "There isn't catch up time available. You don't get to come back in the middle of October and work your way in.

San Jose Sharks Brent Burns (88) celebrates 1-1 power play goal against St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott (1) in the first period of game three of
San Jose Sharks Brent Burns (88) celebrates 1-1 power play goal against St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott (1) in the first period of game three of the 1st round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, April 16, 2012. (Josie Lepe/Staff)

"He looks excited, he looks like's he getting closer. It's nice to see him with the team and also, to be fair, it looks like he hasn't played yet. And we're going to have those growing pains," McLellan said.

"I think he's got to come in when it's time and with a lot of confidence, because he's a skilled and talented player. But he's also got to understand that it has to be a simple game to start with. He's 10 games behind. It is February 7, and he hasn't played since April of last year. So it'll take some time."