There’s a chance Connor McDavid won’t be in the lineup on opening night.
Jeff Jackson, the agent for the superstar centre, told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector that his client’s injured knee is on the track to recovery, but at this point they cannot say with certainty that the joint will be healed enough for McDavid to dress when the Edmonton Oilers open their season on Oct. 2 versus the Vancouver Canucks.
"He has another month before the season starts, and he's in very good shape,” said Jackson. “No one is saying (he will be delayed) until November or December. He's done extremely well so far, and everyone is happy with his progression."
McDavid tore the PCL in his left knee in the final game of another long season for the Oilers after crashing joint-first into a post on a rush toward the goal. Six months separated the time of the injury and the start of the season, offering no assurance that the captain would be healthy for the new campaign.
There was relief when it was announced that McDavid avoided tearing a ligament in the inside of his knee. Nonetheless, to continue steady on the path to recovery, the medical teams involved have had to show the same level of diligence.
“For a guy like him, who relies so much on his skating his edgework, cutting back … You don’t want to have anything go wrong when you’re rehabbing. So it’s been very meticulous, very carefully orchestrated, the progression.
“But he’s doing really well.”
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug caught up with new Oilers GM Ken Holland on Wednesday, who reiterated that the plan with McDavid is to show patience through the recovery process.
Holland re : McDavid “The plan is to be conservative and look at the big picture. He s been skating since late July, He s getting better every week. Let’s get him to Edmonton and see where he’s at in 3 weeks. I expect him on ice early in camp. Let’s be safe. Not sorry”
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) September 4, 2019
McDavid’s injury forced the Biosteel athlete to skip on-ice activities at the annual training camp showcase in Toronto. It’s also expected to prevent him from being a full participant at the start of Oilers’ training camp, but the expectation is that McDavid will return to Edmonton on Friday.
The Oilers are coming off back-to-back postseason misses after advancing to the second round in McDavid’s sophomore season. He was absent for a large chunk of his rookie season after suffering a broken collarbone in a play that drew parallels to the knee injury, having crashed into the boards on a rush in transition.
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