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Insider reveals the truth about Auston Matthews' absence


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Mike Armenti
April 30, 2024  (7:32 PM)
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Elliotte Friedman discusses Auston Matthews' Game 5 absence
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews was a scratch for Game 5 with what many believed was food poisoning. However, the truth may be far more serious.

After missing nearly every practice and game day skate since Game 2, Auston Matthews managed to play in Games 3 and 4, though he was pulled from Game 4 by team doctors and was unable to continue.
Most of the reporting on the Matthews illness have suggested that the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner is dealing with food poisoning, but Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman is not sold on that theory. Not anymore.
Leafs reporter Howard Berger speculated this week that Matthews wasn't dealing with an illness at all, but rather the after effects of a concussion. While Friedman didn't officially confirm that theory, he did suggest that whatever Matthews was dealing with, it's not just a basic illness. He fears that the reality is much worse.
"Recognizing that these are the playoffs and we're not going to know exactly what happened until it's over, I don't think this is [illness related]. An illness doesn't last like this, so I think something else developed in the aftermath, whether it be something the fallout from that or an injury - obviously we're not going to know before the Maple Leafs finish their run, but I don't believe that this is the illness [that is keeping Matthews out of the lineup for Game 5]."

The fact that Matthews was pulled from Saturday's game between periods and then was unable to resume, it's entirely possible that he had suffered some sort of an injury during Game 4, or that the issue has been something that has been lingering since earlier in the series.
Whatever the reality is, as Friedman has reported, we may not know what the issue was, officially, until the Leafs' playoff run is finished.
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30 AVRIL   |   695 ANSWERS
Insider reveals the truth about Auston Matthews' absence

What is the most likely cause of Auston Matthews' absence in Game 5?

Illness20930.1 %
Injury36252.1 %
Personal issues12417.8 %
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