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Analyst says Leafs, Matthews may be hiding the truth about his health


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Mike Armenti
April 30, 2024  (11:04)
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Auston Matthews
Photo credit: Kevin Allen - USA Today Sports

With Auston Matthews' ongoing battle with an unspecified illness, believed to be food poisoning, one Leafs analyst is convinced that the issue is something far more serious.

After posting a goal and 2 assists in Game 2 in Boston, evening the series up at 1 game apiece, headed back to Toronto, Auston Matthews was struck down by an illness that had him playing well below 100% in Game 3 and actually saw him pulled from Game 4 by team doctors.
It's unusual to see a player pulled from the lineup due to an illness, but there were some reports floating around that Matthews was extremely depleted and dehydrated following the second period on Saturday, requiring an IV bag during the 3rd period.
Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs are being very quiet about the specifics of the issue involving Matthews, so confirmation on all of this speculation has been impossible to come by. Now, though, one Leafs analyst is suggesting that Matthews may not be dealing with food poisoning at all. Howard Berger believes that the issue may be related to post-concussion syndrome.
Berger on Matthews: "I know that Matthews has sustained at least two concussions during his years in the NHL. And, while I have no pertinent info, the fact the Leafs are calling it an ‘illness' rather than an injury — and that the issue is complicated by physical exertion — leads me to think he may have taken another shot to the head.

Of course, the NHL has strict concussion protocol and the Leafs would be obligated to keep Matthews out of the line–up if he's experiencing any effects of post–concussion syndrome. I'm sort of debunking my own argument, but no one tells the truth in the playoffs. So we are left to speculate. And, I'm comfortable with the head–shot hypothesis. Were that the case, he'd be very sick for a brief time. Food poisoning doesn't ‘linger'. Neither is it exacerbated by physical activity. You find yourself bent over a toilet until it passes."

Is this a reach? Maybe. I don't recall seeing Matthews taking any shots to the head in the postseason, but I think everyone remembers the scare against Detroit in the final week of the regular season, where Matthews hit the wall moving at high speed following a scoring attempt:
Matthews did appear to have his bell rung on the play, staying down for a moment and dropping his head multiple times as he attempted to shake it off - though he did tell his linemates "I'm good" following the play.
Do you buy into this Berger conspiracy theory? Or do you believe Matthews really is suffering from food poisoning? Let us know in the poll below.
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30 AVRIL   |   631 ANSWERS
Analyst says Leafs, Matthews may be hiding the truth about his health

Do you think Matthews really is dealing with food poisoning, or do you think it's lingering concussion issues, as Howard Berger has suggested?

Food poisoning.7612 %
Post-concussion syndrome29346.4 %
I'm not sure it's either26241.5 %
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