Ryan Reaves makes first appearance at Leafs practice since suffering an injury
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Leafs had a surprise attendee for the first practice of 2024

Published January 1, 2024 at 10:37
BY MIKE ARMENTI

While most, I'm sure, are sleeping off their New Year hangovers, the Toronto Maple Leafs were at the rink bright and early this morning for a practice, fresh off of a 3-game losing skid. They also had a surprise attendee at practice this morning.

Ryan Reaves was injured on a freak play on December 14th, running into the boards while off-balance, trying to reach for the puck. Not only did Reaves have a tough time making his way off the ice, but he appeared to fall again while making his way down the tunnel as well.


Reaves was reportedly spotted back at practice this morning for the first time since suffering his undisclosed lower-body injury. Reaves had been skating on his own this week, so his presence at practice is a huge step forward in his recovery.



The obvious question here is, when Reaves is ready to return, who will come out of the lineup? Bobby McMann has done an amicable job in filling in for Reaves while he's been away. He provides a lot more than Reaves does on the forecheck and does have a better shot than Reaves as well, though each only has 1 goal on the season. Noah Gregor has been too good to come out of the lineup, and Holmberg and Kampf have the luxury of playing center - a skill that Reaves does not possess.

There is no official timeline yet on Reaves' return. It will likely take him some additional time to get back up to speed at practice before we see him back in the lineup. We should know more later this week.
POLL
January 1   |   975 answers
Leafs had a surprise attendee for the first practice of 2024

When Ryan Reaves comes back from injury, who should come out of the lineup?

Bobby McMann979.9 %
Pontus Holmberg22823.4 %
Noah Gregor222.3 %
Nobody - Reaves should be in the press box62864.4 %
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