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Maple Leafs have their first players require COVID-19 re-testing

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The openness from the team is refreshing and reassuring.

Calgary Flames v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Today Sheldon Keefe announced that Alex Barabanov, who was unexpectedly absent from practice, and Taxi Squad player Scott Sabourin had both returned “indeterminate” PCR tests for Coronavirus yesterday.

Public Health Ontario defines an indeterminate result this way:

An indeterminate result on a real-time PCR assay is defined as a late amplification signal at a predetermined high cycle threshold (Ct) value range (Ct >38 in the PHOL COVID-19 laboratory developed assay). This may be due to low viral target quantity in the clinical specimen approaching the limit of detection of the assay, or alternatively may represent nonspecific reactivity (false signal) in the specimen. When clinically relevant, indeterminate samples should be investigated further by testing for an alternate gene target using a validated real-time PCR or nucleic acid sequencing assay at the community, hospital or reference laboratory that is equally or more sensitive than the initial assay or method used.

This is not the first time players have had to wait out retesting, and they are unlikely to miss any meaningful time if the second retest is negative.

From Johnston’s reporting of the same comments, it seems clear the first re-test was from the same sample:

This tallies with the PHO procedures outlined in the link above. The next step will be a new test from a new sample.

Other absences injuries from a full practice include:

Jake Muzzin
Frederik Andersen
Joe Thournton
Zach Hyman

Even with all the injuries, Keefe is not rushing things with Alex Galchenyuk:

These were the PP units tried out today with the depleted lineup:

At present, Galchenyuk and Sabourin are the only forwards on the squad. Martin Marincin, who was reported to be present at practice is the third member of the squad with Joe Woll on the NHL roster.

The Marlies are playing in Calgary, so a recall from there is possible, but not very convenient. After Wednesday’s home game, the Leafs travel to Edmonton for a game on Saturday where that suddenly becomes a lot quicker and easier. Players cannot be recalled on commercial flights.

The options on the Marlies are: Adam Brooks, Joey Anderson, Kenny Agostino or Nick Robertson.

If Barabanov and Sabourin are cleared to join the team before they leave for Edmonton, it seems highly unlikely any recall will happen.

When we have news, we’ll update you.