Doctor says 9-12 month recovery timeline possible for Auston Matthews

Mike Armenti
May 4, 2024  (9:57)

Auston Matthews
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been more tight-lipped than ever about injury/illness issues in these playoffs, especially when it comes to franchise player Auston Matthews.

Sheldon Keefe has maintained over the last few games that he was "hopeful" to have Matthews back at some point, but on each game day for Games 5 and 6 so far, the Leafs have had to announce that Matthews would not play. Will we see the same for Game 7 tonight? Or will Matthews be cleared to return? That remains to be seen.
A few short days ago, one doctor took to social media to give his thoughts on what Matthews' injury may actually be. More on that story here: Doctor provides his assessment of Auston Matthews' injury.
Now, the same doctor, Dr. Jesse Morse, who specializes in non-surgical treatment of knee, shoulder and hip injuries with regenerative medicine, has given his opinion that it may be an MCL issue. When pressed for more information from another Twitter user about whether or not an MCL tear would be something Matthews could play through, Morse responded with:

MCL stabilizes inside of knee.

Can wear brace but twisting, pivoting and trying to skate would be severely limiting if MCL / meniscus are compromised

Even grade 1's hurt bad

Another user asked whether or not it could be an ACL tear and how long Matthews might be out if his issue is related to his ACL. That's where things got really concerning. Morse confirmed that the injury, if surgery is required to repair the damage, could keep Matthews out for the next 6-12 months, similar to what we saw with Tom Wilson back in the 2022 Playoffs, when he tore his ACL off the bone and needed to have his knee reconstructed. Not only did Wilson miss the rest of the playoffs, but most of the following season, being limited to just 33 games after finally being cleared to return.
Minimum 6 months, normallly 9-12 months

@Harjas_Grewal covers hockey injuries for me

Obviously, we're all hoping for the best possible outcome here. I doubt that Matthews' issue is as serious as the one Wilson dealt with in 2022, because Matthews did attempt to play a few more shifts in Game 4 after the play during which he was believed to have suffered the injury. Not quite sure he'd be able to do that if it was a full-blown ACL tear or even an MCL/meniscus tear.
Unfortunately, we're unlikely to find out the full details until after the Leafs' playoff run is over. And if Matthews returns to the lineup before then, it will all but eliminate either of those issues as possibilities.
As seen on BladeOfSteel.com
Doctor shares Matthews could miss 6 to 9 months after reviewing video
4 MAI   |   423 ANSWERS
Doctor says 9-12 month recovery timeline possible for Auston Matthews

What type of issue do you think Auston Matthews is dealing with?

MCL/meniscus9622.7 %
ACL409.5 %
Just an illness12028.4 %
Probably some type of upper body issue16739.5 %
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