Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares says he is thankful for where he is currently at in his recovery following a horrific injury he sustained in Game 1 of the team’s first-round series with the Montreal Canadiens.
“I’m doing really well and I continue to progress,” Tavares said. “I feel very fortunate, considering what I went through and traumatic nature of the injury.”
Tavares suffered a concussion and knee injury. He was hit by Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot. As he fell from the initial hit, he was struck in the head by Canadiens forward Corey Perry’s knee.
Tavares left the ice on a stretcher and has yet to watch a replay of the incident.
“I’ve never been through anything remotely close to it,” Tavares said of the incident. “I know how traumatic it was for my family, especially how many times they saw it.”
Tavares said Perry reached out to him the night of the incident and didn’t feel the hit was dirty or had any ill will behind it.
The Leafs were eliminated in the first round after a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series. Tavares was active off the ice by sending the team text messages and joining post-game gatherings via FaceTime.
The morning of Game 7, Tavares took part in a full skate with the extras, signaling that he might be close to returning had the team advanced to the second round. A minimum of two weeks was the timeline put on his knee injury, while the concussion portion had no timeline.
“I’m really thankful to be where I am today and make the progress that I have at this point,” Tavares said. “I’ll continue to get back to 100 percent health and get myself ready to play and compete as soon as possible.”