Matthews (shoulder) did participate in practice Thursday, but he did so in a non-contact jersey and will miss the evening's contest against the Sabres, Mark Masters of TSN.ca reports. Matthews will need to graduate to full contact before he's considered an option for the lineup. The fact that he's on the ice sheet for practice is a good sign, but his next opportunity to return now arrives Saturday against the Canadiens. The Maple Leafs continue to get by without him but could really use their star pivot as the battle for playoff positioning heats up down the stretch.
Matthews (shoulder) will not return ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the Stars, Jonas Siegel of The Athletic Toronto reports. Matthews was on the ice for a full practice session Monday, Mark Masters of TSN reports, albeit in a non-contact jersey. The center has already missed six games due to his shoulder injury, though he seems to be trending in the right direction. The 2016 first-overall pick's primary focus should be on getting back to firing on all cylinders in time for the playoffs, so the team will likely be cautious about rushing him back into action.
Matthews (shoulder) is still wearing a red non-contact jersey on the ice ahead of team practices, Mark Masters of TSN.ca reports. The stud pivot is likely to return late next week, according to Darren Dreger of TSN, which would seem to rule Matthews out for both Saturday's game against the Penguins and Wednesday's clash with the Stars, but Dreger cautions that "nothing is set in stone." Obviously, Matthews will need to prove that he can withstand contact before getting the green light to return to game action.
Per coach Mike Babcock, Matthews (shoulder) likely won't play Saturday against the Penguins, Mark Masters of TSN.ca reports. Matthews returned to the ice with his teammates for the first time since sustaining his injury Wednesday, but he was wearing a non-contact jersey during his abbreviated practice session with the Maple Leafs' main group, so he still has at least one major hurdle to clear before he'll be given the green light to return to action. If the 20-year-old pivot is unable to go Saturday as expected, his next chance to return to the lineup won't come until next Wednesday against the Stars.
Matthews (shoulder) skated ahead of team practice Wednesday, Mark Masters of TSN.ca reports. Given Matthews' importance to the Leafs and the hockey world in general, his progress is being monitored very carefully. The star pivot with 50 points (28 goals, 22 assists) through 53 games will have at least three more days to rest ahead of the next contest -- he's already missed the last five.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||82||40||29||69||2||8||2||8||530||602||199.5|