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Oilers' McDavid staying positive, playing waiting game

by Derek Van Diest /

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid said he is trying to stay positive while he recovers from a fractured clavicle sustained when he crashed into the end boards Nov. 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

McDavid spoke to the media Monday for the first time since the injury occurred.

The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft had surgery the following day and is expected to be out for months, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

"I think the main part is just getting back to 100 percent," McDavid said. "If there is any positive to it, it's a bone and it can heal. It's not like it's a separated shoulder or torn labrum or anything like that. Bones heal, and I just have to wait for it to get 100 percent."

Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid
Center - EDM
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 12
SOG: 24 | +/-: -4
McDavid has been riding an exercise bicycle to try to stay in shape and is no longer in need of a sling. However, he does not have a definitive timeline on his return to the Oilers lineup.

"I still haven't been re-evaluated by the doctor since surgery," McDavid said. "I'm supposed to go see the doctor today and get some test done, then I'll see him again tomorrow and I'll have a better idea of all that tomorrow."

The injury occurred late in the second period of a 4-2 win against the Flyers when McDavid lost his footing on a shorthanded rush and fell into the end boards.

McDavid was being defended by Flyers defensemen Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto, who went into the boards with him.

"I was coming down the left side and got a shot off and just lost a little bit of my footing and went into the boards with a couple of guys," McDavid said. "I had a lot of weight coming in behind me and I guess that's all that takes. Anytime three guys go into the boards at that kind of speed, something bad is bound to happen. I guess I kind of had the brunt of it. I guess I was the guy falling into the boards and I got the worst of it, obviously. That stuff happens."

After the collision, McDavid was able to get to his feet and skated to the bench, where he sat for the remainder of the period. He went into the locker room with the rest of the team and was then taken to a hospital.

"You could definitely feel that something wasn't right," McDavid said. "It's not like it was my leg or anything; you can get up and get to the bench. It was obviously in a little bit of shock and it was definitely painful."

McDavid had five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 13 games prior to the injury. He was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for October the day before the game against Philadelphia.

The Oilers (6-12-0) have lost four of five games without McDavid in the lineup. They host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, CSN-CH).

"It's obviously disappointing. You don't ever want to get hurt, but we have a great medical staff in Edmonton and we're doing everything we can to get back as soon as possible," McDavid said. "Just being around the guys helps a lot. I was obviously upset, there is no other way to put it. You're upset, but these things happen; it's a fast game, it's hockey and people get hurt. It was unfortunate, but I'll deal with it and get back there as soon as possible."

While in the hospital, McDavid said doctors also checked to see if he sustained other injuries in the fall.

"They tested my elbow when I was under, and it was all good, and they did some X-rays on my shoulder, and that was fine as well," McDavid said. "I was pretty confident it was just the collarbone. I guess if there is any silver lining in all of this, was that it was just the bone."

This is the second time in the past two seasons McDavid has sustained a significant injury, keeping him out of the lineup for an extended period. Last season with Erie of the Ontario Hockey League, McDavid broke his hand in a fight against Bryson Cianfrone of Mississauga.

McDavid was out six weeks but returned in time to help Canada win the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"It was obviously a different injury, but you get a sense for what you did to come back and to feel good," McDavid said. "You get a sense that you can do that again and you're obviously hoping for the same result. I came back from that and I didn't miss a beat. This is going to be a little longer, but hopefully this is the same result when I come back."

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