Big Update From Maple Leafs GM On O'Reilly's Return Timeline

It was a tough blow to the Toronto Maple Leafs when their big trade deadline acquisition Ryan O'Reilly went down with a broken finger after just eight games played in the blue-and-white. There was some concern that he might not be back until Game 1 of the playoffs. 

But general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe have provided some encouraging updates over the last 24 hours of a quicker timeline.

NHL Insider Chris Johnston reports that Dubas expects O'Reilly to return before the playoffs, saying that they were "fortunate" with the type of break he suffered.

And on Monday, Keefe revealed that ROR would be back on the ice sometime this week. 

"He has not skated yet, but it's imminent. He has been in every day and doing what he needs to do to get ready. I was told he was expected on skates this week," said Keefe.

O'Reilly was off to a nice start with his new squad, even registering a hat trick in just his third game with Toronto.

He underwent surgery for the broken finger on March 6th and was placed on long term injured reserve the next day, with a four-week timeline. The regular season ends on April 14th. If that timeline holds, O'Reilly should indeed have time to get into at least a couple of contests before the real games begin.

Photo: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports