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Connor McDavid won’t return to Oilers lineup before all-star break

Connor McDavid will be sidelined until at least February, according to Edmonton coach Todd McLellan. The Oilers rookie has been practicing, but the team is choosing to keep him out of the lineup until they return from the all-star break.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Connor McDavid may be back practicing with the Edmonton Oilers, but the 18-year-old center won’t see game action until at least February.

Oilers coach Todd McLellan told media after Edmonton’s practice Saturday that he had heard that speculation was McDavid would be back in the lineup this weekend, but McLellan said McDavid wouldn’t in fact be back in the lineup until at least after the all-star break.

“We’ve got maybe the strangest all-star break in the history of the league,” McLellain said. “We’ve got an Olympic break versus an all-star break. That break happens in 13 days or 14 days. We’ve determined that Connor’s not physically ready to play between now and then. If he was on day 13 or 14, in our opinion it doesn’t make a lot of sense to play him for one night and then give him the next 10 days off.”

McDavid, who hasn’t played since suffering a broken clavicle Nov. 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers, has missed the past 29 games, but returned to the ice with teammates to kick off the new year. McDavid said at the time he was ahead of schedule in his recovery, but Saturday’s news means the 2015 first overall pick will be shelved for at least three months.

“That’s to be expected,” McDavid told media. “Originally, they said four months, so to come back before the all-star break would be rushing it a little bit too much. With the all-star break, and the long break that we have, I thin kit just gives myself an extra couple days, even a week, to get some extra bone healing and get ready to play.”

McDavid said he’s feeling good and wants to play, and admitted that having to remain on the sidelines for another three to four weeks is frustrating. He added that he’s progressing and that his recovery is “week-by-week” now.

“You never really know until you get into a game how it really is going to feel,” McDavid said. “There’s a big difference between practice and getting hit by someone who’s 230 (pounds) out there. It’s a huge difference and you want to make sure you’re ready for the real thing.”

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