EDMONTON – Rookie phenom Connor McDavid will be back in the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup at home Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“It’s exciting,” McDavid said following practice Monday. “I’m just excited to play again… I feel pretty good, as good as I could be. I’ve been on the ice for so long now so I feel good on the ice. Legs are there, hands are there. It’s just game speed and getting that timing back, I think that’s going to be it.”
WATCH BELOW: John Sexsmith reports on the return of Connor McDavid a few hours before the Oilers face the Columbus Blue Jackets.
McDavid has been out since Nov. 3 when he suffered a broken clavicle in a game against Philadelphia.
“After taking a couple bumps last week in Bakersfield and today, I feel a lot more comfortable than I did two weeks ago,” McDavid said.
“The doctors wouldn’t let me play if I wasn’t 100 per cent so I think you gotta just keep that in the back of your mind. You know that you’ve done everything possible to come back and be 100 per cent healthy again.”
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said they will keep an eye on McDavid’s ice time but the team will not be easing him into action.
“We had him penalty killing 10 or 12 games into the season, we worked his way into that, I don’t know how much of that he’ll do right off the bat,” McLellan said.
“The way he skated today, I’m not as worried about Connor as I am the other 19 that have been off for a week.”
McDavid had been on a scoring tear before his injury with five goals and 12 points in 13 games.
The Oilers selected McDavid first overall in the 2015 NHL draft amid much hype in success-starved Edmonton.
A resurgent end to the season for McDavid would provide some hope for the future, as the Oilers appear set to miss the playoffs for the 10th straight time.
With files from The Canadian Press.
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