Auston Matthews confirmed Monday that he had previously tested positive for COVID-19 during the NHL pause, but now feels healthy. As the Maple Leafs opened training camp, the forward said that he was asymptomatic and felt good during his two weeks of quarantine.
“I think everybody’s experience will probably be different than my own as far as COVID goes, with [various] symptoms and stuff like that,” Matthews said on a Zoom call with reporters. “And sometimes it’s hard to kind of pinpoint a norm because it’s different for everybody.”
A Toronto Sun report in June said that Matthews contracted the virus, but his representatives and the team did not comment. The NHL announced Monday that 43 players had tested positive for COVID-19 during Phase 2 (beginning June 8) of the Return to Play plan.
Matthews, who spent most of the pause at home in Arizona, said he was still able to train at home without issue. The positive test forced him to delay returning to Canada and miss the Phase 2 voluntary workouts.
“Obviously wasn’t able to leave or anything,” he said. “I think that’s really the only thing that kind of took a hit for me. I was skating beforehand and having to take two and a half, three weeks off obviously kind of catches up to you.”
Having gone through the experience, Matthews got a first-hand look at how the league is trying to make the Return to Play as safe as possible for all involved.
“To be honest, I don’t know where I got it,” he said. “I think the NHL and everyone has tried their best with the information they have to make it as safe of an environment as possible.”
The Maple Leafs take on the Blue Jackets in their best-of-five Stanley Cup Qualifier beginning Aug. 2.
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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.