VIRTUE AND RIELLY ‘TRYING TO KEEP EACH OTHER SANE’ Read MoreLeafs’ Rielly hopes comeback wasn’t for just one game — Toronto Sun
It took eight weeks of hard slogging in the gym and on the ice before Morgan Rielly finally made it back from a broken foot — to play just one game.
Now it could be much longer down time than that before putting on his Maple Leafs sweater again.
But holed up in his North Vancouver house, Rielly does not consider the recovery period or the unplanned hiatus that’s followed as wasted energy.
“Yes, it was terribly long trying to heal, to keep yourself in shape,” he said Thursday on a conference call with Toronto media. “Eight weeks goes by and to come back and play one (game) is certainly not ideal. When you’re training at the gym and trying to get back to play, you’re picturing 12, 13 games and playoffs, not taking a pause again.
“But in that same breath, if I hadn’t came back and still hadn’t played since Jan. 12, I think it would’ve made things worse.
“You have to take the positives. I came back, played and we won (2-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, just before COVID-19 put the NHL on hold). Look at the big picture, you have to be happy you got one game in. I’d be going crazy if I hadn’t played since early January.”
The 26-year-old defenceman, the rest of the players and team management have slowly de-escalated, respecting that what’s going on around them is far more serious than sports, yet totally out of their element at home this time of year.