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Injured Matthews returns to practice for Maple Leafs

Reuters | Updated: 19-11-2018 05:47 IST | Created: 19-11-2018 05:47 IST

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews took part in his first full practice Sunday since injuring his left shoulder in late October.

Matthews has missed Toronto's past nine games because of the injury, which he sustained when he was hit by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba. He wore a red non-contact jersey during practice and said it was too soon to predict his return to the lineup.

"I don't know, honestly," Matthews said in comments published by NHL.com. "Kind of just taking it day by day. It feels a lot better. I think it's progressed quite well. It's still not all there, but hopefully it continues to progress, and I can get out there as soon as possible."

The 21-year-old Matthews has 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in 11 games this season. He has averaged nearly a point per game and earned a pair of selections to the All-Star Game since entering the NHL as the No. 1 overall pick in 2016.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said Matthews needed to readjust to game speed before returning.

"He's got to work and get back in shape," Babcock told reporters. "He's been able to skate the whole time, but until he's every day in here, I don't know when he's returning."

Toronto has posted a 6-3-0 record during Matthews' absence.

"I'm going to come back when I feel ready," Matthews said. "It's great to see us getting a lot of wins, though."

--Field Level Media



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