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McDavid 'not nervous' about testing knee in Oilers preseason games

Center has no issue playing after GM cast doubts

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Connor McDavid said he is not concerned his recovery from a knee injury will be hindered by playing preseason games for the Edmonton Oilers and he's planning to be on the ice Friday for the first day of practice at training camp.

"I feel like I haven't held back at all in scrimmages and that stuff," the 22-year-old center said Thursday. "I've been bumped and been in battles and stuff like that.

"I'm not nervous about it. Ultimately you have to listen to the doctors."

Asked if he will take part in drills Friday, McDavid said, "I'm not sure, I expect to be out there."

General manager Ken Holland said Wednesday that McDavid could miss Edmonton's season opener against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place on Oct. 2.

"We've got three weeks to go ... and we're going to be conservative," Holland said Wednesday. "I'd rather be safe than sorry. If he's not ready for opening night, then he's not ready for opening night."

Video: Top 10 plays of 2018-19: McDavid

McDavid said he'll go along with whatever the medical staff recommends.

"I leave that stuff up to the doctors," said McDavid, who tore the PCL in his left knee in the season finale against the Calgary Flames on April 6. "That's what everyone is doing. There are guys that are a lot smarter than I am that are going to make that decision, so my job is to go out there and play. I'll go when they think I'm ready."

McDavid, who had an NHL career-high 116 points (41 goals, 75 assists) in 78 games last season and was the second-leading scorer in the League behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (128 points; 41 goals, 87 assists), was on the ice with some teammates Saturday for the first time since his injury, which did not require surgery.

Holland said Wednesday that if McDavid were healthy, he'd likely play two or three of Edmonton's seven preseason games.

"I'm a guy [who] likes to play and play as much as possible," he said. "I think in years past I've played three or four [preseason games]. If it's two or one, it's not all that different. I'm not too worried about it. Practices will be a good test as well."

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

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