Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews Out at Least 6 Weeks After Surgery on Wrist Injury

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIAugust 14, 2021

Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)
Billy Hurst/Associated Press

Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews underwent wrist surgery on Friday and will be out a minimum of six weeks, the team announced.

That puts his return right around the Leafs' Sept. 25 preseason opener against the Montreal Canadiens.

Matthews was one of the best players in the league last season, winning the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's goal-scoring leader, netting 41 goals in 52 games.

The 23-year-old missed the NHL All-Star Weekend last season to recover from a wrist injury. That has nagged him since January 2020, though Matthews is far from injury-prone. He missed time for upper-body injuries in 2017 and missed four weeks with a shoulder issue in 2018.

The center finished the 2019-20 campaign with 80 points (47 goals, 33 assists), earning votes for both the Hart and Selke Trophies.Β 

Toronto is expected to contend for a Stanley Cup once again in 2021-22, but that largely hinges on the health and effectiveness of Matthews. Already that's been thrown into doubt for the start of the season as the Arizona native begins his rehab process and works toward a return to the ice.