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McDavid feels ahead of schedule on road to recovery

by Mike G. Morreale

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, who has been out of the lineup since sustaining a fracture in his right hand on Nov. 11, told TSN Radio 690 Montreal that he is scheduled to visit a doctor Tuesday to receive the latest update on his injury.

Connor McDavid Erie Otters OHL (Mark Bell / Erie Otters)

McDavid, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, expects the doctor to remove his fitted cast. The original diagnosis last month had McDavid missing 5-6 weeks, but Tuesday marks the four-week mark and he feels ahead of schedule.

"The cast is on right now but expected to come off, so to be ahead of schedule is very important and I'm very excited to get it off and begin the rehab process," McDavid told the station. "I have a very good feeling. I've been on the ice for three weeks and the doctors said to do what you can with the puck. I'm already taking full slap shots, the hand feels good and I have no concerns.

"The only issue right now is taking a snap shot, but that's because I have the cast on."

McDavid, who was named to the preliminary roster of players on the Canadian National Junior Team that will compete for spots for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, is optimistic he will be ready in time for the tournament that begins Dec. 26.

"My dad and I talk about the world juniors; all the times watching that tournament and how badly I wanted to play in it one day," he said. "To play last year was a dream come true, but finishing fourth is not what you want. If we don't win this year, it'll be a disappointment. But there's a lot of hard work between then and now."

McDavid had 16 goals, 51 points and a plus-34 rating in 18 games at the time of his injury he sustained during a fight. He was asked if he would be disappointed if he wasn't drafted first in June.

"Disappointed? That's hard to say because just getting drafted is an absolute dream," McDavid said. "I would want to go first overall, it's in anyone's competitive nature to be the best and this is on a much bigger scale. Going No. 1 is important to me and something I'd want to accomplish."

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