Matthews 'really hopeful' wrist will be ready for season opener
"It's coming along well," Matthews said Monday, according to NHL.com's Mike Zeisberger. "Right now, it's a couple more weeks until I can kind of get out of the splint and start kind of really rehabbing and build my strength back.
"But ... as far as timeline goes, I'm going to get back on the ice this week. I'm really hopeful to be able to be ready for Game 1. That's my goal right now. Just take it day by day and see how I'm feeling."
Matthews was initially given a recovery timetable of at least six weeks following his surgery on Aug. 13, which would have seen him return by the end of next week.
The Maple Leafs' training camp opens Sept. 22. Toronto's preseason schedule begins Sept. 25 before starting the regular season on Oct. 13, with the club facing the Montreal Canadiens in both games.
Matthews' wrist issue bothered him during the last campaign, but he waited until the offseason to have the procedure because he hoped it would heal, according to Zeisberger. However, the ailment continued to bother him during his workouts over the summer, leading to his decision to have surgery after discussing it with the team's medical staff.
The talented center, who'll turn 24 on Friday, said Monday that the wrist issue isn't serious, and he's happy to have addressed it.
Despite playing through the injury for most of last season, Matthews claimed the "Rocket" Richard Trophy after leading the NHL with 41 goals in 52 contests. Matthews is entering his sixth campaign with the Maple Leafs, who drafted him first overall in 2016.