TORONTO (CP) - Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Karel Pilar will miss the rest of the NHL season due to a virus that was so severe it has weakened his heart.
Pilar, 25, played in 17 games for the Maple Leafs this season, but not since scoring a goal in an overtime loss to Edmonton on Dec. 23. Shortly after that he contracted a virus that was thought to be a sinus infection.
It had affected his balance and Pilar was slow to improve. Recent tests indicated that the virus had found its way to his heart.
Pilar has begun working out only recently, but hasn't been cleared to skate yet. He has been working out under the care of the Maple Leafs' medical staff.
"I feel good right now," Pilar said after the Maple Leafs' 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. "After three months, I'm finally starting to feel normal."
Maple Leafs athletic therapist Chris Broadhurst said Pilar is under the care of a cardiologist and the team is following the doctor's advice in terms of exercise and care.