Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid, who fractured the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand earlier this month, spoke to the local media for the first time since the injury prior to the Otters' practice Monday in Erie, Pa.
McDavid, who is projected by many to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, had scored a point in every game but one this season prior to the injury. He has 16 goals and 51 points in 18 games.
He hurt his right hand in a fight against Mississauga Steelheads forward Bryson Cianfrone in the second period of a game on Nov. 11. He visited a hand specialist in Ontario the next day and was told he could miss between 5-6 weeks.
McDavid was asked to recall the fight and his reasoning behind getting involved.
"I just got into it and he dropped his gloves; I'm not just going to sit there and take punches," McDavid said. "I probably wouldn't change a whole lot thinking about it now. I think it was the right thing to do [at the time] and I'd rather fight than turtle or anything like that. There's not a whole lot you can do in that situation."
McDavid skated on his own for the first time Monday since sustaining the injury. He remains uncertain of his timetable for returning to the ice with his teammates.
"It's tough to say, we'll see what happens," he said.
McDavid is holding out hope that, if chosen, he will be able to represent Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship beginning Dec. 26.
"We'll leave that [decision] up to the doctors," he said. "It'll come down to how I prepare and what I'm doing; if my legs are in good shape. It shouldn't be too hard to get back into form but I thought I was playing pretty well before this all happened so that kind of makes it just as bad I guess."
McDavid, who was wearing a small fitted cast on his right hand during the interview that lasted approximately six minutes, is still very upset over what happened. He was asked what he felt he has learned from this situation.
"It's about as crappy as you could imagine [sitting out]," McDavid said. "A broken hand stinks; there's not a whole lot you can do ... that's what I learned.
"I initially had high hopes that it wasn't that bad. The positive thing is that it could have been a leg or I might have required surgery, but that wasn't the case."
The Otters are 3-2-0 without their star player in the lineup. McDavid isn't surprised that they are playing well.
"It's what I've been saying, it's not just me," he said. "Now they are getting a real opportunity here to show what they can do and I would expect that out of the team."