GLENDALE Ariz. – Shane Doan will end 2013 where he has spent almost all of December -- watching the Phoenix Coyotes from the sidelines.
But a return in 2014 is looking more and more likely each day.
After taking part in his first full practice Monday, Doan was strong enough to participate in the morning skate Tuesday. That's a sign the Coyotes captain is on the road to recovery from a bout with Rocky Mountain fever that has kept him out of the lineup since Dec. 4, and on his back for several weeks.
Doan won't play against the Edmonton Oilers and the timetable for his return is still undetermined, but he is off antibiotics and building his strength and wind. He returned to the ice last week and made the trip to Anaheim on Saturday, and the progress is noticeable. Following the Saturday skate, Doan slept for four hours in the afternoon to recharge.
Skating on back-to-back days is another hurdle cleared.
"Being off three weeks, it's tough on the body," Doan said. "Being off and lying down, and not really doing much and fighting whatever it is, it makes it hard."
Forward Rob Klinkhammer missed the skate Monday with an illness, but is expected to play against the Oilers. Defenseman Rostislav Klesla, also down with the flu, is back skating, but won't play.
The Coyotes recalled forward Chris Brown from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League and he could give the fourth line a different look. Jordan Szwarz was sent back to Portland Monday. Gilbert Brule refused an assignment and has been put on the suspended list.
The Oilers will scratch Nail Yakupov against the Coyotes. The No. 1 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft has six goals in 39 games and is a minus-25. He has been playing on the fourth line, but will sit after an extended meeting with Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on Monday.
Ilya Bryzgalov, who led the Coyotes to a pair of playoff berths from 2009-11, returns to Jobing.com Arena and will be in goal for Edmonton against his former team. Bryzgalov's most-recent start was in a shootout loss Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, with whom he played after leaving Phoenix as a free agent in the summer of 2011.
"Bryz was a solid player for us, he played a solid game," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "He understands the game in front of him very well. Sometimes business takes over and you go different directions."
Here are projected lineups for the Oilers and Coyotes:
Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – David Perron
Roman Horak – Sam Gagner – Jordan Eberle
Ryan Smyth – Boyd Gordon – Ales Hemsky
Luke Gazdic – Anton Lander – Jesse Joensuu
Andrew Ference – Justin Schultz
Anton Belov – Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz – Martin Marincin
Scratched: Nail Yakupov
Injured: Corey Potter (groin), Mark Arcobello (ribs), Ryan Jones (head), Philip Larsen (illness)
Lauri Korpikoski – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata
Rob Klinkhammer – Antoine Vermette – Mikkel Boedker
Tim Kennedy – Mike Ribeiro – David Moss
Kyle Chipchura – Jeff Halpern – Chris Brown
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Connor Murphy
Keith Yandle – Derek Morris
David Schlemko – Michael Stone
Scratched: David Rundblad, Paul Bissonnette
Injured: Shane Doan (illness), Zbynek Michalek (lower body), Rostislav Klesla (illness)