The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to make do without two of their top defensemen for the foreseeable future.
The Maple Leafs announced on Monday that Jake Muzzin is out indefinitely with a cervical spine injury. He will be re-evaluated in late February.
While head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters in October that Muzzin had not sustained a concussion on the play, the veteran blueliner has a history of head injuries, notably sustaining two in the span of a month last season, the latter of which kept him out from late February until the Leafs' first round playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, Muzzin has gotten multiple medical opinions, with one doctor suggesting they re-evaluate the injury in February. LeBrun also fears that the 2014 Stanley Cup champion will miss the rest of the season.
With Muzzin's $5.625-million cap hit on LTIR, general manager Kyle Dubas will likely seek a replacement in the trade market.
Muzzin had one assist in four games before his injury, while averaging 16:43 in ice time. In 187 games over five seasons with Toronto, he has registered 81 points and accumulated 101 penalty minutes.
Defenseman T.J. Brodie has also been placed on injured reserve with an oblique injury, the team announced. Brodie missed Saturday's game against the Vancouver Canucks, with Jordie Benn slotting in for the 32-year-old.
Brodie has two assists in 15 games this season, accumulating four penalty minutes in 21:23 a night. He has 44 points in 153 games with the Maple Leafs.
Forward Pontus Holmberg and defenseman Mac Hollowell have been called up from the AHL's Toronto Marlies to step in for the injured duo.
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