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Oilers' Nugent-Hopkins could miss all of October

by Ryan Dittrick

PENTICTON, British Columbia -- Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season and could miss as many as 14 games before he's cleared to return, general manager Craig MacTavish told reporters Sunday.

MacTavish provided the update prior to a game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Young Stars Classic.

"In talking to our medical staff, we've determined that everything is on schedule -- but it's important for them that we maintain the pessimistic schedule that we started with, which would be Nov. 1," MacTavish said.

As a result of a recurring injury in his left shoulder, Nugent-Hopkins underwent surgery on Apr. 23 to repair a torn labrum, ending his season five games early. He had four goals and 20 assists in 40 games. The Burnaby, British Columbia native also suited up for the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League during the lockout, scoring eight goals and 20 points in 19 games before resting his shoulder and representing Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

The 20-year-old is currently in Edmonton participating in informal skates with his teammates in advance of training camp, which opens on Wednesday with fitness and medical testing at Rexall Place.

The Oilers begin the 2013-14 season on Oct. 1 at home against the Winnipeg Jets.

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