Auston Matthews is not available to play this week, and the star centre will likely miss the first three Maple Leafs games to begin the season, Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said Monday.
Matthews has been recovering from wrist surgery he received on Aug. 13. The reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner has progressed significantly and started participating in his first contract drills earlier this month, but maintains his wrist is not quite where he wants it to be.
The recovery was estimated to take a minimum of six weeks. It has been just over eight so far.
Despite dealing with the nagging wrist injury last season, the 23-year-old scored 41 goals in 52 games.
The Maple Leafs open their 2021-22 campaign on Oct. 13 at home against the Montreal Canadiens.