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McDavid skates with Oilers, 'working towards' playing in season opener

Center who injured knee in April unsure if he will play during preseason

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Connor McDavid skated with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and said he is hoping to be in the lineup to open the regular season.

The 22-year-old center, who tore the PCL in his left knee in Edmonton's season finale against the Calgary Flames on April 6, was on the ice with some of his teammates at Rogers Place for the first time since sustaining the injury, which did not require surgery.

"We're working towards that," McDavid said of being available for the season opener against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 2.

McDavid said he isn't sure if he will play during the preseason. The Oilers open training camp next week; their first preseason game is against the Winnipeg Jets on Sept. 16.

"I don't know. That's kind of out of my hands," he said. "The doctors and whatnot will figure that all out and we'll listen to them. The doc will say when I'm good to go and that's when I'll go."

Video: RAW | McDavid 09.07.19

McDavid had been skating on his own prior to Saturday.

"It feels like nothing's changed," McDavid said. "I didn't want to push it too hard but you have to push it hard enough to ensure that it's healing. I was lucky to work with some great doctors and the Oilers medical team."

McDavid had an NHL career-high 116 points (41 goals, 75 assists) last season, second in the League to Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, who had 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists).

It is the second significant injury for McDavid, who was selected No. 1 by Edmonton in the 2015 NHL Draft. He missed 37 games with a fractured clavicle as a rookie in 2015-16.

"I think you take it a little bit slower," McDavid said of his knee injury. "The collarbone is bone and I wasn't afraid to push that. But this is the type of stuff that I've never dealt with before."

The injury was a setback for McDavid and his typical offseason training regimen.

"I'm usually on the ice a lot, especially early, I don't like to take too much time off, that was the main thing that changed," he said. "You can't get back on the ice for a little bit."

Video: Top 10 plays of 2018-19: McDavid

McDavid participated in drills Saturday with 11 other players in the informal session, which lasted almost an hour.

"I don't think I took it too slow," McDavid said. "I kind of jumped into it right away and as soon I was ready to go on the ice, I went on the ice and tried to go as hard as I could and tested it as much as I could, and it went well."

McDavid has 372 points (128 goals, 244 assists) in 287 NHL games. He was voted winner of the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2016-17.

NHL.com independent correspondent Derek Van Diest contributed to this report

Photo & video courtesy: EdmontonOilers.com

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