The merry-go round that is the Maple Leafs injury bay these days took another spin today just as the team left for back-to-back games in Washington Friday and Montreal Saturday.
Tomas Kaberle, out two weeks now with concussion symptoms, joined the team on the flight to Washington today, which sparked speculation that he’ll return to the lineup as early as Saturday.
“There’s no chance for me (vs Washington), but I don’t know about the weekend,” Kaberle said.
So, does that mean he’ll play in Montreal?
“I can’t talk about two days from now because I don’t know how I’ll feel then,” Kaberle said.
Kaberle will visit with Montreal-based concussion specialist Dr. Karen Johnston on the weekend as part of his ongoing recovery from a late hit to the head he suffered March 2 in New Jersey.
While Kaberle has skated for the past three days, and looked tremendous at the Leafs workout today, the odds remain long that he will play over the weekend.
The Leafs defenseman also underwent another round of tests Wednesday, but the club said it had not reviewed the results.
“He (Kaberle) hasn’t taken a step backwards that we feared, but I don’t have a definite return date for him either,” Leafs coach Paul Maurice said.
“If there’s the slightest shade of green light from our medical staff that he can return, we’ll have him in there, believe me . . . we certainly miss him.”
Maurice, meanwhile, may shuffle his lineup in Washington if Kyle Wellwood and Carlo Colaiacovo are not ready to play.
Both players missed practice today, but Maurice said their absence was due to a “maintenance day,” and that both players should be ready for Washington.
John Pohl, who has been nursing a back spasm problem for the past two weeks, is also set to return to the lineup after a one-game absence.
If all three players are available as expected, Maurice will have some hard choices in making out his lineup. Travis Green, Yanic Perreault, and Boyd Devereaux are also vying for spots on the bottom two lines.
“We have a number of players with issues, so we’re looking at back-to-back games and going with the healthiest bodies we have,” Maurice said.
Leafs captain Mats Sundin, meanwhile, politely refused to talk to the media today. He is one goal shy of equaling Darryl Sittler’s franchise record for career goals as a Leaf (389).