John Tavares returns to the ice for a skate

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares was back on the ice for a skate on Thursday, one week after suffering a concussion and a knee injury in a scary collision.

Tavares skated at Scotiabank Arena with fellow Leafs forward Nick Foligno (lower-body injury), who will miss his third straight game in Toronto’s playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

The Leafs lead the best-of-seven series 3-1.

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Tavares was checked to the ice in the first period of last Thursday’s 2-1 loss in Game 1 by Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot into the path of an onrushing Corey Perry, who was unable to avoid contact. Perry’s knee hit Tavares’ face.

The 30-year-old lay motionless before trying to get up as trainers and doctors from both teams provided medical attention inside an empty, eerily quiet Scotiabank Arena. Tavares was eventually stretchered off the ice.

Tavares stayed overnight at hospital before he was discharged.

“He’s obviously progressing very well to the point that he’s gone through the different steps to now get on to the ice,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said.

“That’s a step for him. He wasn’t on there very long, but felt really good coming off. He’s got two different (injuries) that they’re monitoring with his knee and the concussion. Progress has been very good on both fronts.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021.

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© 2021 The Canadian Press

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