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Broken finger sidelines Leafs captain John Tavares for at least two weeks

Leafs captain John Tavares has suffered a broken finger. GETTY IMAGES
Leafs captain John Tavares has suffered a broken finger. GETTY IMAGES

John Tavares will be out of the Maple Leafs’ lineup for at least two weeks, if not longer.

The Leafs announced on Thursday afternoon that their captain suffered a broken finger late in the club’s 4-3 loss in Washington against the Capitals on Wednesday night.

Tavares was hit on his right hand by a shot from the point by teammate Morgan Rielly in the third period, but stayed in the game and scored, with the goal coming at 17:27.

In a short statement, the Leafs, who did not practise on Thursday, said Tavares will be out a minimum of two weeks, at which point he will be reassessed by the team’s medical staff.

How coach Mike Babcock plans to proceed will become clearer at practice on Friday. At the least, centre Jason Spezza is bound to get back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch in five games to start the 2019-20 season.

In eight games, Tavares, named captain on opening night, has seven points (three goals and four assists).

Tavares, now in his 11th NHL season, has been relatively healthy throughout his career. Since the end of the 2013-14 season, Tavares has missed just nine games.

Based on the minimum prognosis, Tavares will miss at least six games including a pair of matches against the Boston Bruins, who visit the Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.

tkoshan@postmedia.com

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