NHL McDavid for injury update story

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid returned for the Edmonton Oilers and had an assist in a 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday.

The center missed two games with an upper-body injury sustained in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 21. McDavid was initally expected to be out 1-2 weeks.

He played on a line with forwards Warren Foegele and Leon Draisaitl. Edmonton played 11 forwards and seven defensemen and was without forward Mattias Janmark (undisclosed).

“It’s feeling good, I’m making a lot of progress. I felt really good today in practice, a lot of good signs,” McDavid said after practice Saturday. “Our training staff here is amazing in Edmonton. The whole crew, we’re very lucky here in Edmonton to have a great staff, and we’ve been working hard on it all week, and I feel like it’s in a really good place.”

McDavid appeared to sustain the injury after jumping up into a rush led by forward Zach Hyman at 15:13 of the third against the Jets. McDavid pulled up and grabbed his left side after crossing Winnipeg's blue line, but he continued the shift before heading to the bench with 4:20 remaining, where he sat for the rest of the game.

McDavid, who previously skated on his own Thursday prior to taking part in practice Saturday, has eight points (two goals, six assists) in five games this season for Edmonton (1-5-1), which has lost four in a row (0-3-1), including allowing five goals in the third period of a 7-4 loss at the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday before being shut out at home by the New York Rangers on Thursday.

“I hate missing games period,” McDavid said. “Whether or not this game was played indoors or outdoors, it would be something I would be pushing for. I hate missing meetings and sitting out too. That’s not something that’s fun, and as athletes you want to be available for your team, and being able to play day in and day out, that is something that is very important. It’s your job and something that I take very seriously. Being available is important to me.”

McDavid has been available for Edmonton in each of the past three seasons. He played all 82 games last season and all 56 games during the 2020-21 season. In 2021-22, he missed only two games, one because of COVID-19 protocol and the other for rest in the regular-season finale.

The Oilers (2-5-1), who are expected to be a Stanley Cup contender, ended a four-game skid Sunday and are sixth in the Pacific Division. The Flames (2-6-1) are seventh in the Pacific and have lost five straight in regulation, during which they have been outscored 20-6. They are ahead of only the San Jose Sharks (0-8-1).

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