Muzzin’s reason with Maple Leafs recovering from an injury

Jake Muzzin skating with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday for the first time since the defender was injured in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup qualifier against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“Jake does it well in the sense that he finally has a little bit of freedom,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He left his morning seats for the first time and he actually got out on the ice and got a little skater in the morning. That’s obviously very positive considering what he’s been through.”

Muzzin suffered injuries when he first fell chest into the legs of Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand behind the Toronto goal. He lay on his back for more than 10 minutes before being immobilized and pulled off the ice on a stretcher.

He was discharged from hospital on Tuesday morning but was ruled out for the rest of the qualifiers the following day.

Martin Marincin has played the past two games in place of Muzzin.

“Sure, we’m very happy that he’s recovering quickly compared to what we were least afraid of in terms of him on the stretcher and all that kind of stuff,” said Keefe of Muzzin. “That it’s great to see him around our team and move today.”

Toronto will play Columbus in Game 5 of the qualifying match at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the hometown of the Eastern Conference, on Sunday (8 pm ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, FS-O).

The winner will advance to play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the loser will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery on Monday.