NHL

'Bored to death' Auston Matthews feels ready to return from injury

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Austin Matthews, who has been out of the lineup with a shoulder injury since Oct. 27, spoke after practice on Tuesday and said he feels ready to return to action.

Leafs star still needs medical clearance, but hoping to play vs. San Jose on Wednesday

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews spoke to the media after going through practice on Tuesday and says he feels ready to return to game action. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Auston Matthews has had enough of watching television and finding ways to pass the time.

The Toronto Maple Leafs centre, who hasn't played since suffering a shoulder injury on Oct. 27, spoke after practicing with the team on Tuesday and said he feels ready to return to the lineup. 

"I think guys took it for the most part easy on me, but just in those battle drills and competing and stuff, everything felt good," Matthews told the media ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the San Jose Sharks.  

"So in my mind, I feel ready to play tomorrow. I have to talk to the medical guys, but as far as I'm concerned, I feel pretty ready to go."

Matthews believes the biggest challenge in returning to game action will be adjusting to the time, space, and speed of play.

"I want to get out there, get the puck and make sure I'm doing things right. Not try to be too fancy or cute with it — keep things simple and go from there," he said.

Watch | Auston Matthews leaves game with shoulder injury:

Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews leaves game with shoulder injury

3 years ago
Duration 0:43
Matthews left in the second period after taking a hit from Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba. 0:43
Matthews left a game late last month after taking a hit from Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba in the second period and hasn't played since.

The idle time apparently did not sit well with the 21-year-old.

"I've been bored to death the past month," admits Matthews, who has tallied 10 goals and six assists in 11 games this season. 

"So I think I'm just going to be excited to be back with the team, get in the game tomorrow and do what we all love to do, which is play hockey. I'm definitely excited as far as that goes."

Matthews also has a plan to keep himself away from unwanted hits.

"The goal is not to get crunched like I did when the injury happened, to see stuff coming, not shy away from hits, but take the lesser part of them."

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