Alex Stalock is a glass half full kind of guy.

After suffering a serious nerve injury behind his left knee during a game with the Sharks’ AHL team in Worcester on Feb. 4, 2011, just days after making his NHL debut, Stalock was told by doctors there was a 50-50 chance he would play again. He sat out for nearly an entire calendar year, rehabbing and working to continue what was, at the time, a promising career.

“Being young and having it be my first injury, I kind of played it like it’s not going to be a big deal,” said Stalock, a fourth round pick by the Sharks in 2005. “I think that mindset was kind of a big reason to get through it.”

He continued: “I didn’t really what care what [the doctors] said, honestly. It was always in the back of my head there was a chance that I’d be doing something else. Obviously, I wanted to work hard and get to where I was.”

Stalock may never be 100 percent, admitting that in daily life he occasionally has trouble with his balance on uneven surfaces, sometimes rolling his ankle. He has about a six-inch scar behind his left knee, where current Los Angeles Kings forward Dwight King stepped on him during a game against the Manchester Monarchs.

Fortunately, ice surfaces in the NHL are nice and flat, and Stalock indicated he hardly notices any lingering effects during games or practices. Still in his first full NHL season as Antti Niemi’s backup, Stalock is 7-3-0 with a 1.56 goals-against average and .943 save percentage. He doesn’t qualify to be among the league leaders yet since he hasn’t played enough minutes, but it is an impressive stat line nonetheless.

The time off after his surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota may have been a blessing in disguise. Stalock did not return to game action until Jan. 21, 2012, suiting up for the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder more than 11 months after he was hurt.