Maple Leafs confirm status of veteran Mark Giordano

He's been absent since late November with a broken finger.



The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting a much-needed boost on their blue line, as veteran defenseman Mark Giordano is set to return for the first time in a month since suffering a broken finger in late November. 

He officially returns to the ice tonight for the Maple Leafs, who are looking for another win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

And needless to say, Giordano has been chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of things with the rest of his teammates.

"I feel as good as can be I think," Giordano said Thursday. "Our staff with off ice training, right through our medical staff and on ice training, it's been a nice one in the fact that I've been able to skate a lot. I really didn't take too much time off the ice, so that's been good, but I feel ready to go. We'll see how everything goes throughout the day, but I feel good."

"His leadership and experience, that in itself I think brings a lot to our group," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday. "In terms of his game, he's an ultra-competitor so he's going to bring that. I also think there's some puck-moving ability there in all three zones that can help us as well. We'll see. We have to get him back in game mode here. … You can't replace the type of experience and leadership that Gio brings, so it's nice to have him back." 

He's scored one goal and four assists in the 20 games that he's played in so far in the 2023-24 season. He's also playing in the final year of his contract, and at 40 years of age, could be in his final season in the National Hockey League.

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