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BLOG: Caggiula, Rieder close to returning from injury

The Oilers forwards will travel with the team and could potentially re-join the lineup during the upcoming two-game road trip to Colorado and Winnipeg

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - Monday's skate may have been a designate practice without the likes of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Oscar Klefbom, but forwards Tobias Rieder and Drake Caggiula were putting in the work in hopes of returning from injury during the Oilers upcoming two-game road trip.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Inching Closer 12.10.18

Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock provided an injury update Monday morning, saying the pair will travel with the team after rejoining the main group for practice earlier today for the first time since their injuries.

"They were both full participants today, we'll see how they feel later, but both guys went twice today," Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said from the Oilers Hall of Fame room. "They went earlier in the day for about an hour then they came back to us for 30 minutes, so they were on for long sessions today.

"Both will make the trip and sometime hopefully on this trip they'll have a chance to play."

Video: INJURY UPDATE | Drake Caggiula 12.10.18

Caggiula picked up a hand injury in practice during the Oilers last road trip in St. Louis and missed the last three games. While the 24-year-old isn't fully recovered, returning to practice with the main group has allowed him to assess his own recovery with a feel-out process on the ice.

"I'm not 100 percent sure where I'm at, but things are progressing pretty well and I've been doing some skating on my own and today was my first skate with the guys, Caggiula said. "It's getting there. I'm not 100 percent, can't really shoot at full yet, but stickhandling is starting to come along and hopefully it's not too much longer. It's good to be back out there getting into a normal routine."

Rieder has been sidelined with an upper-body injury since November 17, missing 12 games in the process during what's been his longest stint on Injured Reserve in his NHL career.

Video: INJURY UPDATE | Tobias Rieder 12.10.18

"I've never really been injured during the season to be honest, so this is the first time for me in the NHL," Rieder said. "I had a couple injuries in the minor leagues a couple of years ago, but this has been my first longer injury in the NHL."

Returning to full strength after a month of recovery, along with adapting to a new style of play under Hitchcock, has taken some time to adjust for the German forward.

"I think a couple practices and maybe a couple of games, but a month is a long time if you're not playing in any system or against anybody," he said. "You're just out there by yourself skating. It's tough, but I think you can get back into the groove pretty quick."

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