TORONTO- Joe Colborne has joined the list of Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospects who will need the summer to recover from injuries.
The 22-year-old admitted on Monday that he needs surgery to repair his left wrist after suffering from the injury for most of the season.
“I’ve been battling a wrist injury all year and we’re gonna take care of that over the next week or so,” said Colborne. ”Hopefully I’ll be ready by camp.”
Colborne wouldn’t disclose when the injury first happened but his statistical decline points towards the late part of 2011.
The Calgary native started the season with the Toronto Marlies in October. He scored 10 goals in his first 12 games and had 19 points in 13 contests when the parent club Toronto Maple Leafs summoned him on November 19th.
Six games in the NHL went well for the Colborne, recording four points, but when he returned to the Marlies his production started to decline.
In his first 13 games back with the AHL club, Colborne scored only once.
Despite six multi-point games in his his first 10 outings, he recorded just two more all season. His shot production drastically declined upon return and at one point he went minus-11 in a 12 game span near the end of the season.
In total he had just six goals in the final 51 games of the season and finished the year with just 39 points in 65 games.
“I don’t want to make excuses but it’s not fun and it didn’t make it any easier,” Colborne said about his wrist.
“It’s hard to play through that,” added Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. ”Most players would have shut it down but he was more than willing to battle through it.”
The most alarming statistic about Colborne’s offensive struggles was when he went 30 games between goals. Before scoring in Game 1 of the third round against the Oklahoma City Barons, his last goal was on February 17th in a regular-season matchup with the Rockford IceHogs. If healthy, Eakins would have been upset with the centreman’s output, however he was very understanding of the situation.