Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares and his wife, Aryne, released a statement Wednesday, thanking fans for supporting The John Tavares Foundation through what's been a harrowing week for the 30-year-old.
Tavares suffered a catastrophic injury in Game 1 of Toronto's first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens, when Corey Perry's knee inadvertently made contact with his head. Tavares laid motionless on the ice and was taken to hospital on a stretcher, before being released upon examination.
The Tavares family wrote the following to Maple Leafs fans on Wednesday:
The support we have felt during the past week is truly overwhelming. We cannot express our gratitude to all of you who have came out to support our foundation and help us lead change in the communities we serve.
To keep the positive momentum going during the Maple Leafs playoff run, we will personally match every donation (up to $50,000) to further support our great partners: Halton Food For Thought, Rexdale Youth Mentorship and Special Olympics Canada.
We look forward to working closely with these amazing organizations to positively impact the lives of children in need, creating a future filled with possibilities knowing every child feels emotionally supported with the tools and a chance to choose their own dream.
Tavares is trying to immerse himself into the team's playoff run, staying active in the Maple Leafs group chat throughout the series. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe told The Athletic's Joshua Kloke that Tavares was at the team's practice facility Wednesday and is "re-acclimating" himself with his teammates.
It will be a while before Tavares laces up his skates again, even as the Maple Leafs position themselves for a deep playoff run. It's also clear that Tavares hasn't abdicated his responsibilities as a captain, both as a good teammate to his fellow players, and taking on the civic responsibility that comes with an honorific title that means so much to the fan base.
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