Tim Connolly injury worse than expected

Toronto Maple Leafs center Tim Connolly may be out longer than initially anticipated thanks to an upper body injury sustained during practice at the end of September.

“I don’t really know if it’s day-to-day now,” said Connolly after a short skate at the Mastercard Centre this morning. “It may a little bit longer, but I can’t really speculate. I can’t just give you a guess of how long it’s going to be. I’d like to just to give you guys some more information, but whether it’s a week or two weeks before I’m playing I couldn’t tell you.”

Connolly initially suffered the injury during a Maple Leafs practice on September 26th. After sustaining the injury, Connolly took time away from practice and was initially deemed as day-to-day. However, when Connolly returned to practice last week he was unable to take contact and saw any improvements to the injury come to a halt.

“That’s what I did initially,” Connolly said. “Just took a few days [off] right away [and the] swelling went down, pain level went down. Then got back out there and thought it would just be pain tolerance. But it was pretty severe and that’s when we realized it was going to take a little bit longer so I had to back off some of the shooting and puck-handling and even grinding up against the boards, things like that.”

While Connolly didn’t mention the true nature of the injury, he did clarify that it is not related to his head or neck.

After spending the majority of his career with the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto signed the often-injured forward to a two year contract this summer worth $9.5 million. Over the past six seasons, Connolly has only played in 302 games out of a possible 492. His best showing during that span came in 2009-10 when he appeared in 73 games.

Toronto was evidently willing to take the chance on Connolly’s health for the chance to sign a play-making center to feed the puck to Phil Kessel. When he manages to stay healthy, Connolly is a fairly productive player and effective playmaker. Throughout the past 302 games over the last six seasons, Connolly has tallied 250 points, including 178 assists.







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