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Leafs place D Rielly on LTIR with knee injury

Morgan Rielly Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly - The Canadian Press

The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenceman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury. 

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that Rielly may have suffered a grade one or a grade two MCL injury in Monday's overtime loss to the New York Islanders, which aligns with the LTIR designation and carries a four-to-six week recovery period. By rule, any player on LTIR can't return until a minimum of 10 games and 24 days have passed.

With Rielly sidelined, the Maple Leafs recalled defenceman Mac Hollowell and Victor Mete from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. 

Hollowell, 24, has played in 11 games for the Marlies this season while Mete, 24, has seen action in five games for the NHL club, recording an assist. 

Rielly suffered the injury in the third period when Rielly collided with New York Islanders forward Kyle Palmieri on Monday night. Both players were slow to get up as the 28-year-old Rielly left the game shortly after and did not return as the Leafs lost in overtime 3-2. 

Rielly was -1 with two shots, two hits and a block in his 16:38 minutes played. 

The 10-year Maple Leaf has 16 assists over 20 games in 2022-23. 

Leafs injuries pilling up 

With his injury, Rielly becomes the third Maple Leafs veteran defenceman on injured reserve.

The team lost Jake Muzzin to long-term injured reserve due to a cervical spine injury earlier this season, while TJ Brodie is expected to miss at least another week with an oblique injury. Muzzin is slated to be re-evaluated in late February.

Additionally, goaltender Ilya Samsonov continues to be sidelined with a knee injury and is also not expected to play this week.

The Maple Leafs begin a four-game road trip on Wednesday in New Jersey against the Devils, who have won 13 straight games and sit atop the East Division with a record of 16-3.