TORONTO – His left foot was swollen with shades of purple and wrapped heavily in bandages. Only crutches supported Dave Bolland as he met with the media for the first time since a tendon outside his left ankle was severed. The 27-year-old could not pinpoint a date for his return, still stung by disappointment from the injury and its effects on his first season as a Leaf.
"Things were going well and then something like this happens [and] it really crushes you," said Bolland, who had six goals and 10 points amid a quick start in Toronto.
It was more than a week ago in Vancouver that the 27-year-old dug deep for a puck in the Toronto zone when his foot was sliced by the left skate of Zack Kassian. Lingering on the ice uncomfortably as Kassian and the Canucks scored their second goal in an eventual 4-0 loss, Bolland was helpless. Eventually assisted off the ice by teammates, he left the arena on a stretcher, requiring surgery in B.C. the next day.
"I just went in the corner and by the time I turned around, I just fell and didn't really feel anything in my ankle," he said. "Tried to get up and my ankle just buckled."
Bolland was convinced that the actions of Kassian were without malice, the Kevlar socks he wore unable to protect his ankle from injury.
"It's just a freak thing," he said. "It's hockey. You're going in the corners and you're wearing sharp blades; it was just a little opening in my foot that got cut."
Unable to put any weight on the foot, the Toronto native has been stuck at home with little to do, save for watching television and spending time with his new daughter.
"You can't do much," he said. "You've got to let the healing begin. For me, it's sitting in front of my Apple TV watching as [many] shows as I can."
"Get to see the motherhood of life and see what goes on actually when I'm on the road," he continued. "Had to actually change a diaper and do things like that."
One of two injured Toronto centres – Tyler Bozak also remains out – Bolland could not pinpoint any specific return date – he's certain he'll be back this season – but he expects to remain on crutches for a month.