Tavares surprisingly skates for Maple Leafs, still out indefinitely

Tavares surprisingly skates for Maple Leafs, still out indefinitely
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No, John Tavares won’t be available for the Maple Leafs as they aim to eliminate the Canadiens in Game 5 on Thursday (6:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN). But it remains remarkable that Tavares already managed to skate one week after he was stretchered off and hospitalized following a Game 1 collision with Corey Perry.

However long it takes for Tavares to return — if he can do so during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at all — his Thursday skate is a great sign.

Tavares skates one week after scary Game 1 injury

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Tavares engaged in a “light skate and some skills work” for about 18 minutes.

Johnston and others note that Nick Foligno joined Tavares during that session. At the moment, it looks like Foligno will also miss Game 5 of Maple Leafs – Canadiens, and remains day-to-day.

In case you need specifics, Tavares is dealing with two injuries relating from that Game 1 collision with Perry. He suffered a concussion and a knee injury (The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel described it as an MCL sprain).


So that bit of work seems like a good sign on both fronts.

Naturally, there’s the human element, too. Seeing Tavares skate so soon must be reassuring to Maple Leafs teammates who were shaken by that frightening scene last week.

“I think that’s the kind of the same reaction from us. We’re obviously very happy to see him, and he’s in good spirits,” Justin Holl said, via Sportsnet. “He looks healthy. Obviously, he’s got a couple things he’s got to work through before he’s ready to go and in game shape, but it’s really an encouraging sign to see him here.

“It’s just good for our team, and good for us emotionally and mentally.”

Beyond Tavares and Foligno skating, the other pre-Game 5 Maple Leafs – Canadiens note is that Rasmus Sandin looks to draw back into the lineup. Sandin is expected to replace Travis Dermott.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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