Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews confirms he had concussion symptoms

It's a good sign for Toronto Maple Leafs' fans, as Auston Matthews looks to be close to full strength in practice with his teammates.

Auston Matthews returned to practice for the first time in nearly two weeks on Friday and the Toronto Maple Leafs centre confirmed he has been dealing with concussion symptoms.

Matthews has missed the past six games after sustaining the injury Dec. 9 when he collided with teammate Morgan Rielly in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Later on that night, next day, I wasn’t feeling very well,” Matthews told reporters at the team’s practice facility following Friday’s skate. “Went through all that return to play, and all the protocols and everything and obviously, you know, they take it pretty seriously and they deemed me out so I went through all that stuff and I feel great now.”

When asked what he was feeling, the reigning Calder Trophy winner said “normal concussion symptoms, I guess,” but wouldn’t elaborate.

The 20-year-old has 13 goals and 13 assists for a team-leading 26 points in the 26 games he has suited up for this season. He also missed four games with an upper-body injury in November.

“It’s very frustrating,” Matthews explained. “You never like missing games and two back-to-back injuries where you miss time, it sucks. The main thing is to be healthy. That’s my main concern and the training staff and everybody else’s, so like I said I feel good and it feels good to get back on the ice.”

The Maple Leafs visit the New York Rangers Saturday. It’s unclear at this time whether or not Matthews will be inserted into the lineup. He’ll be a game-time decision. Toronto has gone 2-4-0 without Matthews during this recent stretch.

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