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Leafs' Matthews out minimum 3 weeks with knee sprain

Claus Andersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without superstar center Auston Matthews for at least three weeks as he deals with a knee sprain suffered Wednesday against the New York Rangers, the team announced.

Matthews missed two games earlier in January with a lingering undisclosed ailment.

Rookie Pontus Holmberg projects to join the top six as he centered an all-Swedish line between Calle Jarnkrok and William Nylander at Friday's morning skate. Here are the projected forward lines for Friday's tilt with the Ottawa Senators:

Bunting Tavares Marner
Jarnkrok Holmberg Nylander
McMann Kampf Engvall
Aston-Reese Kerfoot Anderson

The timeline means Matthews will miss a minimum of six games as the injury coincides with the NHL All-Star break. Matthews was supposed to play in the All-Star Game, but Aleksander Barkov of the hosting Florida Panthers will replace him, the league announced.

The reigning Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner has registered 25 goals and 28 assists in 47 games this season.

Barkov has tallied 13 goals and 30 assists in 40 games this campaign.

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