Tim Connolly arrived in Toronto with the reputation of being injury prone, and nothing about that has changed.
After crashing into the boards nearly three weeks ago at practice, the 30-year-old centre from Baldwinsville, NY, has not been seen – by fans – since. Connolly has continued to practice with the team, following a few days off, and actually looked pretty good, but his situation has gone from bad to worse.
“It’s status quo right now,” Connolly told sportsnet.ca Thursday afternoon. “I don’t have too much too much more information for you. I know there was speculation that it was my head or neck, but it’s not that at all. I can tell you that 100 per cent. I don’t want to be too specific about the injury because when I do come back, you never know if someone will target that area of your body. Either way you’re coming off an upper body injury and the other team is going to want to play physical (against you). It has been listed as day-to-day for a while, but it’s a little bit more significant than originally expected.
“I haven’t really been handling the puck or stick-handling. I’ve been keeping it under the threshold of where right now I just have to let it heal. It’s a time thing. I couldn’t give you a time thing. Initially it was thought to be day-to-day, but it’s going to be longer.”
The news seemed to catch Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson a little by surprise. When surrounded by the media early Thursday afternoon and asked if his new No. 1 centre is, indeed, day-to-day, he offered: “It depends on what days are. Are days on Mars longer, in terms of hours? As far as I am concerned he’s day-to-day and when he’s ready to play we’ll let you know.”
Asked if he was frustrated by being injured at the start of the year while debuting with a new team, Connolly said, “I figured that would be a question and I hate to make you guys frustrated by not getting too specific into the injury itself. Maybe somewhere down the road I can get more into it when I’m back playing. Surprisingly I haven’t been too frustrated. Coming to the arena and with the guys getting those two wins, we all have smiles on our faces. It makes it easier. Winning games; that’s the most important thing.”