TORONTO– Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Joe Colborne will spend the summer recovering from wrist surgery after revealing Monday he was dealing with the injury most of the season.
“I’ve been battling a wrist injury all year and we’re going to take care of that over the next week or so,” said Colborne, whose AHL Toronto Marlies were swept by the Norfolk Admirals in the Calder Cup final. “Hopefully I’ll be ready by camp.”
The six-foot-five forward wouldn’t say when the injury first happened but his statistical decline points towards late 2011.
The Calgary native started the season with the Marlies in October, scoring 10 goals in his first 12 games and recording 19 points in 13 contests. He was called up by the Leafs on Nov. 19.
He had four points in six NHL games, but when he returned to the Marlies his production started to decline.
In his first 13 games back with the AHL club, Colborne scored only once.
Despite six multi-point games in his first 10 outings, he recorded just two more all season. His shot production drastically declined upon his return and at one point he went minus-11 in a 12-game span near the end of the season.
In total he had just six goals in the final 51 games of the season and finished the year with 39 points in 65 games.
“I don’t want to make excuses but it’s not fun and it didn’t make it any easier,” Colborne said of his wrist.
“It’s hard to play through that,” added Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. “Most players would have shut it down but he was more than willing to battle through it.”
Colborne has already seen a local surgeon and will have the surgery done in Toronto sometime over the next two weeks.
“I’ve already met with (the doctor),” said Colborne. “It’ll be nice to finally get over it and back to where I feel confident as a shooter and a passer.”
Colborne will rehab back home in Calgary with the goal of being ready for next September’s training camp.
Colborne joins Matt Frattin, who has already had surgery to repair torn meniscus, while Nazem Kadri said on Monday that he missed the Calder Cup final with a separated shoulder. Frattin plans to be back in September, along with Colborne while Kadri said his injury should be healed within a week or two.
*This article has been updated since originally posted. Updated version was written for The Canadian Press