Big Update On Maple Leafs Injured Defenseman Thursday Morning

One of the Toronto Maple Leafs' big free agent additions of the offseason has been on the shelf for a week now after suffering an injury in an exhibition game. But it appears that absence is just about to end for John Klingberg. 

The Leafs' new power play QB was on the ice with teammates at Scotiabank Arena early Thursday morning during an optional skate, his first time on skates with the team in over a week since the upper body injury he picked up in a preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres.

The next step for Klingberg is game action, and head coach Sheldon Keefe is confident that's coming soon, certainly in time for the season opener next week.

"That's the plan," said Keefe, referring to Opening Night on Oct. 11th against the Montreal Canadiens. "He's eager to get a game in on Saturday. Things went really well for him out there today ... trending toward being available next week." 

Klingberg, a 9-year veteran, signed a $4.15M one-year contract with the Leafs this summer after notching 33 points in 67 games last season split between the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. 

Photo: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports