Toronto Maple Leafs All-Star center Auston Matthews has tested positive for COVID-19, the Toronto Sun reported on Friday.
Citing two “NHL sources outside Toronto,” the Sun reported that Matthews, 22, is self-quarantining at his home in Arizona and hopes to be healthy enough and eligible to travel to Toronto in time for the opening of Leafs camp on July 10.
According to the report, Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen was spending a lot of the break at Matthews’ Scottsdale home but did not test positive for COVID-19 and is no longer in Arizona.
The team has yet to announce anything on Matthews’ condition, but one source told the Sun, “There’s no blueprint for this. This is not an ankle injury.”
Matthews, the NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016, is in the first year of a five-year, $58 million contract. He set career highs in goals (47) and points (80) in 70 games this regular season. He has 158 goals and 127 assists for 285 points in 282 career regular-season games.
The NHL suspended the regular season because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12. The league announced in May a plan to resume the season in late July with an expanded 24-team playoff format. The Maple Leafs, seeded eighth in the Eastern Conference, will play the ninth-seed Columbus Blue Jackets in a best-of-five series in the first round.
The news comes just hours after reports surfaced claiming the Tampa Bay Lightning temporarily closed their training facility during Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan after multiple players and some staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.
Phase 2 began last week with teams opening their training facilities for small groups of players and staff to conduct workouts.
The Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche also had players and/or staffers test positive for COVID-19 during the hiatus.
--Field Level Media
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