TORONTO - Colby Armstrong says he misses his teammates. But if all goes according to plan it won’t be long at all before the energy winger is back in the Maple Leafs lineup.
Armstrong has targeted a Saturday return against the Boston Bruins for his first game back since a “fluke” tendon injury to a finger on his left hand on Oct. 26 against the Florida Panthers took him off the ice.
“We’re looking toward Saturday now,” Armstrong said after the Leafs’ morning skate on Thursday. “I’m feeling pretty good out there, just working on some little things down low, maybe a guy on my back. I haven’t done that in a while.
“One more (full practice on Friday) and then we’ll see where I’m at for Saturday” added Armstrong, who now has participated in three full practices and two pre-game morning skates with his teammates.
The right-winger said he doesn’t even know exactly how the injury occurred, just 52 seconds into the first period against Florida. He just twisted his hand the wrong way. But he does know it has been tough to watch from the press box as his teammates struggle to get some wins under their belts.
“It’s exciting to be close to coming back,” Armstrong said. “It’s definitely tough to sit up and watch from the press box or at home when they’re on the road every night. You definitely feel separated from the team, doing your own program trying to get back. You’re not around them as much as you’d like. But getting back in the swing of things, it feels better. I’m excited. I kinda appreciate things a little more.”
And it’s quite likely the Leafs will appreciate having Armstrong’s tenacity back in the lineup. Since he went down, Toronto had only won three games out of a possible 15 heading into last night’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers.