The injury bug has followed the Toronto Maple Leafs across the Atlantic Ocean.
On Saturday morning, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed that veteran defenseman John Klingberg would be held out of action on Sunday due to injury. Klingberg was on the ice for practice on Saturday morning but would eventually leave the ice early, walking off rather than skating off the ice.
It sounds like the Maple Leafs might be short a second player as well although Keefe would not confirm that officially, instead revealing that Conor Timmins was "unlikely" to play on Sunday. That would take two right-shot defensemen out of the lineup for the Maple Leafs ahead of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Wild, a less than ideal scenario for the Leafs.
Keefe was asked about Klingberg's status following his announcement today and it sounds like the head coach may expect his veteran defenseman to be out for some time. When asked if he was concerned about Klingberg's injury developing into a long term concern for the team, he answered in the affirmative.
"Yeah, it's certainly getting to that place," admitted Keefe on Saturday.
Klingberg being placed on long term injured reserve could actually benefit the Leafs this season given that he has not played well since signing with the organization this season. A trip to long term injured reserve would give the Maple Leafs cap relief that they could use to acquire or sign another defenseman in Klingberg's stead.