The Toronto Maple Leafs are that much closer to getting Dave Bolland back in the lineup.
Bolland, who’s been out since Nov. 2 with a severed ankle tendon, took part in Maple Leafs practice on Thursday, as the Toronto Star shares. While Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk are still away at the Olympics, Bolland skated on what would be the Leafs’ third line with Mason Raymond and Troy Bodie.
Seeing Bolland on the ice with the team isn’t exactly new, but taking part in a full practice is. He’s been skating with the team since January, and even toyed with the possibility of returning before the break, but his ankle wasn’t game-ready.
The possibility of seeing Bolland in the lineup when the Leafs return to action on Feb. 27 on Long Island is very real.
Dave Bolland, his season disrupted by a severed tendon at the start of November, should be ready to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup when the NHL schedule resumes later this month.
“It looks like Bolland should be available to us, which is a player back into our lineup,” said Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle following his team’s 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Bolland underwent surgery the day after suffering the injury to his left ankle and was listed as being out indefinitely. The injury occurred on a Zack Kassian hit when the Leafs visited the Canucks earlier this season. Bolland was rushed on a stretcher by a group of reporters and out of Rogers Arena in Vancouver immediately following that game on Nov. 2.
Prior to the beginning of February, the 27-year-old Bolland, in his first season with the Maple Leafs, had given himself a “fifty-fifty” chance of returning prior to the Olympic break, which began at the conclusion of Saturday’s NHL action.
The Leafs acquired Bolland at the end of June, following his second Stanley Cup championship with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 15 games with Toronto, he’s scored six goals and 10 points.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland made it clear to TSN that he believes his chances of returning from an ankle injury before the Olympic break rest at “fifty-fifty.”
“We’ll see,” Bolland said. “If I’m ready then I’m ready …”
Here’s video of the unfortunate incident in which he was cut by Zack Kassian’s skate in early November:
It’s easy to say that the 27-year-old should just take a measured approach with the Olympic break so close, but it’s just as easy to ignore the toll months of rehab can take. Bolland admitted that the process has been “grueling” to TSN.
So far, it seems like the pesky center has been a nice fit in Toronto, too; he has 10 points in 15 games. That’s just one fewer point than he managed in 35 contests with the Chicago Blackhawks last season.
The Maple Leafs have these games remaining before the break:
Saturday: vs. Ottawa
Tuesday (Feb. 4): at Florida
Thursday (Feb. 6): at Tampa Bay
Saturday (Feb. 8): vs. Vancouver