Bozak, who returned to the lineup Nov. 25 after missing a month of action with a hamstring injury, had to leave Tuesday night's game against the Sharks after playing just 2:49 in the game. On Thursday coach Randy Carlyle announced that Bozak suffered an oblique strain.
While it's not exactly precise, Carlyle also offered up a timeline.
Tyler Bozak has an oblique strain and will be out an "extended period of time," per Randy Carlyle.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 5, 2013
Toronto is already hurting with its center depth thanks to the injury to Dave Bolland. Earlier this week the Maple Leafs waived fourt-line center Jerred Smithson. Bozak being out again leaves them awfully thin.
Bozak, who centers the top line, will be replaced in that role by Nazem Kadri, who will anchor the line with James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel. In all honesty, that switch makes the top line a better group but as a whole, Bozak departing still leaves a dent on the team. An extended absence will only exacerbate the issue.
Bozak was producing well since returning from injury with a goal and four assists in five games, but the Leafs lost each of those games. He signed a new four-year, $14 million contract with the Leafs this past summer.