Auston Matthews was a full participant in Toronto Maple Leafs practice for the second straight on Tuesday, but he has already been ruled out for tomorrow night’s game versus the Dallas Stars.
After today’s morning skate, Matthews spoke to the media for the first time since he injured his shoulder back on February 22. He reiterated that there is no specific target date for his return to game action and told reporters that he is taking it “day by day.”
"It’s nice to get out on the ice with the guys and take reps and that kind of circumstance instead of skating by yourself so you kind of get your timing and stuff back, which is a big key in return to play,” Matthews said, per Mark Masters of TSN. "It’s obviously frustrating, no question about that, but stuff happens. Everything happens for a reason. I just kind of stick with it, do (my) best to get back, get healthy. I’ve been doing a good job of staying in shape with my conditioning and working with the trainers"
There is a slim chance Matthews could return to the lineup Thursday night in Buffalo but playing in Saturday night’s game versus Montreal is a more likely scenario. With the Maple Leafs pretty much set in third place of the Atlantic Division, there really is no need to rush the young star back until he is completely healed.