EDMONTON -- Oscar Klefbom will have season-ending surgery on his left shoulder but the defenseman will continue to play for the Edmonton Oilers until the procedure is scheduled.
Klefbom will return to the lineup against the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Place on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, SNW, NBCSCA, NHL.TV) after missing the past two games assessing the injury. He had exploratory surgery last week to determine the extent of the damage to his shoulder, which has been problematic all season.
"The procedure he had allowed him to digest some information and make a decision about what he'll do moving forward," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "He will have a cleanup done. It will happen as early as next week. All the details have to be sorted out. Once he gets the procedure done he will not finish the year. But he's come to us and said he wants to play between now and then, and we're all for it."
Klefbom was selected by the Oilers with the No. 19 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. He injured the shoulder with Farjestads BK Karlstad in the Swedish Elite League 11 games into the 2012-13 season and missed the remainder of the season.
Klefbom, 24, has played the past five seasons with Edmonton. He has 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 63 games this season.
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"He's played this way for a long time," McLellan said. "He had the same shoulder problem last year, it's just that some of the treatments he's had in the past have worked, and now they're not working quite as well. He's a hockey player, he wants to get out there and play. He wants to help his team win a hockey game and that speaks volumes about him."
McLellan said there is no risk of Klefbom damaging the shoulder further, which is why Klefbom will be allowed to play until a date can be set for surgery.
"If he had the availability of doctors and a bed today he wouldn't play tonight," McLellan said. "But I'm not going to deny him the opportunity of contributing to his team and playing in front of his fans because he has a procedure scheduled for later on when there's zero risk of any more damage."
Edmonton is expected to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 11th time in 12 seasons. The Oilers are sixth in the Pacific Division, 18 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for third place and the Dallas Stars for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.
"Obviously it's going to be tough for us to make the playoffs, so if I'm going to do something now is the time to do it," Klefbom said. "I don't want to go through what I did this season with my shoulder. It's going to be a big year for me on this team next year, so I want to be 100 percent, and now is the time to get my shoulder repaired."
Edmonton will go on a four-game road trip beginning at the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Klefbom will travel and play as many games as he can before the surgery.
"I want to be there for my teammates," Klefbom said. "I've been having this issue for a long time. Every player has bumps and bruises and I just want to play through it. I've been playing with this injury for many years. That's not going to stop me and I want to be there on the ice with the guys and help them out any way I can. Until the procedure, I want to be on the ice and help them."