Leafs' Jonathan Bernier won't rush return despite losing skid

Injured Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier was out on the ice for the team's optional skate on Monday,...

Injured Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier was out on the ice for the team's optional skate on Monday, March 24, 2014. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

TORONTO - Jonathan Bernier admits he tried to rush back from a groin-strain injury last week and had a minor setback.

So despite a season-high five-game losing streak for the Maple Leafs that’s imperiled their playoff position and set off alarm bells in Leafs Nation, he won’t start a game until he’s absolutely sure he can give his best.

That might not be in time for Tuesday night’s home game against the St. Louis Blues, though he was one of a handful of Leafs who took part in Monday’s optional practice.

“Every day has been better,” Bernier said on Monday. “It’s still hard to say if I’m back tomorrow. It hurts to see your team lose, but it’s one of those things where you don’t want to rush and be out four or five games after.

“I’ll be honest. Friday (his first practice in pads since the injury in L.A. on March 13) was probably my worst day afterwards. I tried to push it hard to see if I could play this past weekend and I had a little setback.


Videos

Photos