After a four-year wait to experience his first NHL playoff action with the Maple Leafs, Tyler Bozak would hate to miss Game 1 against Boston.

Toronto’s No. 1 centre re-appeared at practice on Monday for the first time in almost a week, but went to the dressing room before the serious drills began at the MasterCard Centre. If he can’t play, it’s back to Nazem Kadri centring leading goal man Phil Kessel and big left winger James van Riemsdyk, while Mikhail Grabovski would replace Kadri between Joffrey Lupul and Nikolai Kulemin.

Faceoffs are where the crafty Bozak would be missed most. At 52.6%, he’s far more valuable than the spotty Kadri.

Before many had arrived at the rink, Bozak was working alone in the stands in a pass-and-shooting cage and he was among the early birds on the ice. But he departed after about 20 minutes of the hour and a half practice.

“It’s a day-to-day situation and hopefully, the ailment subsides,” said Randy Carlyle, who was less inclined to reveal injury tidbits with the Boston Bruins looming on Wednesday. “We’re going to make sure he’s 100% and not push it. Medically, we’re doing everything we possibly can and the treatments are in place. But until he tells us he’s ready, then he’s day-to-day.”

More might be known on Tuesday, with the Leafs deciding to practice one more day at home. But speaking to reporters about an hour after the coach, general manager Dave Nonis said it’s his “expectation” Bozak will play Wednesday at TD Garden.

Many teammates were pulling for Bozak to make it back in time.

“But sooner or later, he’ll get his chance,” Lupul said. “It’s positive he was out there today, because you want all hands on deck. But the reality of it is that if you want to make a long playoff run, there will be guys going down for certain times and others have to step in.”