Toronto Maple Leafs centre Ryan O’Reilly is going on long-term injured reserve with a broken finger, head coach Sheldon Keefe announced Monday.
Maple Leafs captain John Tavares will also be out Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils, Keefe said.
O’Reilly left Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks in the second period after getting hit in the left hand with a puck off an Auston Matthews shot. He will now miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days.
Keefe said that O’Reilly was in Toronto seeing a specialist and that the timeline for his return was not yet clear, but the team expects him back for the playoffs.
“Obviously when you get him, you get excited and you know what he can bring, so for us to lose him, certainly it’s tough and disappointing, but we’ve acquired him to be healthy and ready to go for the playoffs and that that will be the case,” Keefe said. “To that end, it’s not bad in terms of what the bigger picture is.
“Especially with the nature of the injury, he won’t lose much time actually on the ice and skating.”
As for Tavares, he skated with the Maple Leafs on Monday, but he wore a grey jersey as an extra. Keefe said he wasn’t “feeling himself.”
“(Tavares) is not feeling great, he wanted to skate to see exactly where he’s at and got through it and he’s feeling a little bit better than he thought, but I think just more so for him out of an abundance of caution we’ll leave him alone for tomorrow and get him ready for Saturday,” Keefe said.
“There’s a bug going around, we’ve been travelling a lot … I think it’s more so on our side of it than his, we just said, ‘oh, let’s just be cautious on this one’ and as long as he continues to progress well, he’ll be ready to go for Saturday.”
Earlier Monday, the Maple Leafs recalled forwards Pontus Holmberg and Alex Steeves from the AHL Marlies.
The Maple Leafs acquired O’Reilly, the former St. Louis Blues captain, in a trade on Feb. 19 as part of a deal that also saw the team receive Noel Acciari.
O’Reilly, 32, has 15 goals and nine assists for 24 points in 47 games this season and five points in eight games since arriving in Toronto.
Tavares, 32, has 28 goals and 34 assists and has played in all 63 of the Maple Leafs’ games this season.