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Oscar Klefbom ready to return after missing last 3 Edmonton Oilers games

WATCH ABOVE: After being placed on injured reserve last week, the Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom practised with the team on Thursday and is expected to return to the Oilers lineup on Friday. He spoke to reporters on Thursday.

Oscar Klefbom should return from a shoulder injury Friday night when the Edmonton Oilers host the Chicago Blackhawks.

Klefbom only missed three games, but he hasn’t been right all season.

“It’s been a rough season,” Klefbom said on Thursday. “There’s been a lot of medication and tough games.”

“He’s had some problems, not severe enough to keep him out of the lineup, but bad enough to affect his play,” head coach Todd McLellan said. “He needed this time. He looks a lot more chipper. He looks a little more confident now.”

Klefbom got an injection in the shoulder last week. He originally started having issues with it in the 2017 playoffs. It limited him physically and took a bite out of his confidence as well.

“It’s pretty tough when you know you’re not 100 per cent,” Klefbom said.

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“It can be a bad hit or something that just triggers it a little bit and I get an inflammation, or whatever it is, in the shoulder. It gets very, very sore. Then you start getting on meds. The stomach turns upside down when your [on] meds for a couple of months, too. I’m just happy to feel a lot better now.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers place Oscar Klefbom on injured reserve

Andrej Sekera didn’t practice Thursday but will suit up against the Blackhawks. It was a maintenance day for Sekera, who returned from an ACL injury last week.

Yohann Auvitu, who has played his entire 44-game NHL career on the blue-line, was positioned at forward at practice. He could be used there in a game.

“I like the way Yohann skates. I like his aggressiveness and assertiveness,” McLellan said. “He needs to learn that position a bit, but he could become a utility guy for us.”

Once the Oilers activate Klefbom from injured reserve, they’ll have to make a roster move to stay within the 23-man roster limit.