Sheldon Keefe on Mitch Marner’s ankle injury: “Day-to-day from being day-to-day”

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Hobson
1 month ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be without one of their star players for a couple of more games, at least.
Mitch Marner was diagnosed with a “mild” high ankle sprain following a freak play on March 7 against the Boston Bruins, where he spun around the opposing net and seemed to twist his leg awkwardly on his way down. He ended up finishing the game, and the injury was initially expected to be a minor one, but we’re now going on four games without Marner’s return to the lineup, and according to Keefe, he’s going to miss a fifth, too.
High ankle sprains have been an ongoing issue for the Maple Leafs this season. Timothy Liljegren was diagnosed with one after a collision with Brad Marchand in the Leafs’ first bout with the Bruins on November 2 and ended up missing a month and a half, and goaltender Joseph Woll suffered one against the Ottawa Senators on December 7 that kept him out of the lineup for nearly three months, only making his return on February 29 against the Arizona Coyotes.
What’s especially frustrating about Marner’s sprain is that it came on a completely preventable play. He had a seemingly wide-open net to shoot for, and whether he had trouble settling the puck or winningly chose to go for the wraparound instead, took a different route and ended up hurting himself on the play. This isn’t his fault – you see that play happen 99 times out of 100 without injury, but this ended up being the one time that resulted in a player hurting himself.
General manager Brad Treliving was also asked about Marner’s injury at the annual NHL GM meetings, where he indicated that the delay in Marner’s return to play likely has as much to do with not risking further injury so close to the playoffs as it does the nature of the injury itself.
It makes sense, the Leafs are 2-1-0 without him since the injury and have seen other players rise to the occasion in his absence, for as much as his lack of presence is being felt on the power play and the penalty kill. Pontus Holmberg has been taking reps on Auston Matthews’ right-wing on the top line, and has gotten some extra looks on the penalty kill in his absence as well.
The Leafs are on the road to take on the Philadelphia Flyers for the third and final time this season Tuesday night, then they’ll head straight to Washington D.C. to face the Capitals for the first of two matchups in the next eight days.

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