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Auston Matthews returns negative COVID-19 test, not ruled out for meeting with Oilers

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews speaks to reporters after a locker clean out at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, on Thursday, April 25, 2019. TTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews speaks to reporters after a locker clean out at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, on Thursday, April 25, 2019. TTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
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Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews returned a negative result for COVID-19 on a PCR test one day after a rapid test came back positive.

Head coach Sheldon Keefe says the team is awaiting further results, but Matthews has not been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

The 24-year-old star missed a second straight practice from precautionary reasons Tuesday. He was held out of Monday's on-ice after his positive result on a rapid antigen test

Assistant coach Dean Chenowyth, who also tested positive on Monday, had his result confirmed by a PCR test Tuesday.

Monday's positive tests came at the tail end of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Leafs that saw 14 players and seven staff members placed in the NHL's coronavirus protocol at its height. Those 21 people had cleared protocol as of Monday.

Matthews is coming off an outstanding December that saw him named the NHL's first star of the month after putting up 10 goals and four assists in seven games.

The reigning Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy winner tested positive for COVID-19 in June 2020 at home in Arizona while the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2021.

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