Coach Mike Babcock says the 20-year-old center is skating every day and should have his conditioning when he returns to the lineup. Matthews injured his right shoulder Feb. 22 against the New York Islanders and will miss his fourth game Saturday night when the Maple Leafs face the Washington Capitals at Navy Marine-Corps Memorial Stadium.
Matthews missed four games in November with a suspected back injury and six in December with a concussion. Despite playing just 53 games, the Phoenix area native leads Toronto with 28 goals and is second in points with 50.
The Maple Leafs wrap up their four-game road trip Monday in Buffalo and don’t play again until March 10 against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. That game would be a logical target for Matthews to return, though he could take some more time with Toronto comfortably in a playoff spot.