Encouragement, progress in Toffoli’s recovery

The side effects for mono may include fatigue, a sore throat, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, headache, skin rash and a swollen spleen. Young athletes diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis are generally given a three week-to-one-month recovery period before they’re able to play again.

It is possible though far from certain that Tyler Toffoli, who missed his first game with mono on January 10, could return for Wednesday’s game against Chicago, less than three weeks after his diagnosis.

“I want to play as soon as I can,” Toffoli said. “I think when you’ve missed one game, you don’t like it and you don’t want to be watching the guys, and we’ll see how tomorrow goes and what happens Wednesday.”

Though he skated after practices with his teammates during his recovery, Monday’s practice represented the first time that he was able to join a practice and weather contact. Even shortly after he was diagnosed with the virus, Toffoli noted to reporters and to his teammates that he wasn’t feeling overly ill, and that the effects of the virus were minor. Given his response and his eagerness to get back on the ice and test his endurance, it’s becoming clear that he’s likely to slot in on the quicker side of the recovery spectrum.

Clearly, the All-Star break came at the right time.

“If the break impacts guys who are banged up, he’s one of ‘em,” Darryl Sutter said. “I mean, we’re waiting for doctors’ marching orders on Tyler, so it’s good for him. He’s felt good for a week, it just wasn’t before the break. He felt good, he just wasn’t allowed to do anything in it. There’s obviously some catch-up there.”

Some of the catch-up required him to absorb some physicality at today’s skate.

“Yeah, Stick was trying to bully me a little bit,” Toffoli joked about Justin Williams.

On Friday, Toffoli received an ultrasound and had blood tests done. It’s still too early to gauge whether he’ll be in the lineup for Los Angeles’ final home game before a five-city road trip, but consider evenrything that happened between January 10 and today to fit mostly in the “best case scenario.”

“It won’t take him long,” Sutter said. “You know what? We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and see how his pace is and how he feels and go from there.”

Tyler Toffoli, on any timetable for his return:
It’s a good sign to be skating with the guys and taking contact. We have one more skate until Wednesday, so we’ll see how it goes. I haven’t really talked to Kinger (Chris Kingsley) a whole lot. He told me I could skate and that got me excited enough.

Toffoli, on how he has handled mono:
The whole time, I was feeling relatively normal. There were a couple days when I didn’t feel my best or as good as I would have liked, but you have to give and take when you have mono. I’ll take that anytime compared to some of the other guys. They told me some pretty bad stories about when they had it. I’m not going to complain with the time I’ve missed and how I felt the whole way.

Toffoli, on what he did during the break:
I just hung low, didn’t really do a whole lot. I rested and tried to prepare to come back as soon as I could.

Toffoli, on whether there is more of an emphasis to return against Chicago:
Yeah and it’s not even that. It’s a big game. It’s that time of the year obviously. You’ve got to start stringing some games together and playing better as a group and we need to start winning.

Toffoli, on whether he would bet that he returns on Wednesday:
We’ll see. At the end of the day, I’ll talk to Kinger and Darryl and see where I’m at. I mean, it’s the first time I’ve skated with the guys in two-and-a-half, three weeks, or whatever it was. I was a little tired, but that’s to be expected after getting a couple days off there. We’ll see tomorrow and get better. Hopefully Wednesday I feel real good.

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