Maple Leafs take captain John Tavares out of COVID-19 protocol

Toronto Maple Leafs centre John Tavares (91) celebrates with Auston Matthews (34) after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. (Tony Avelar/AP)

On a day when the team placed yet another big-minutes player in COVID-19 protocol, the Toronto Maple Leafs got a hint of good news when captain John Tavares returned from the list on Sunday.

According to the Leafs PR tweet, Tavares was on the ice as the team returned to the ice to work out on Boxing Day.

Earlier in the day, the team placed top-four defenceman Jake Muzzin into protocol, which made him the 14th player sidelined until Tavares came off.

The league was scheduled to resume games on Monday, but all games have since been postponed due to pandemic-related concerns, meaning teams won't resume play until Tuesday.

Toronto's first game back is scheduled to be at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

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