After having shoulder surgery on April 23, to repair a torn labrum, the Oilers top centre was back on the ice participating in an informal skate at Terwillegar Community Rec Centre in Edmonton today.
“It feels good right now but I know it’s got to heal,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “I’ll let it do its thing and I’ve got to get my strength back. So there’s going to be lots of discussions with the doctor and the medical staff over the next few weeks. Just got to make sure it’s 100% before I go out there.”
Nugent-Hopkins says that he expects to participate in training camp, which starts on September 11, but will most likely begin camp with a non-contact jersey.
“I think I’m going to be on the ice pretty much with the guys right away. I think I will probably wear the yellow jersey to start. But it’s feeling good and I’m just excited to be back here and get going.”
Often times with shoulder injuries to athletes there is concern about future range of motion in the repaired area but Nugent-Hopkins says that’s not the case with him.
“I have pretty good range. I think I have 100% range. So it feels good and I’m getting no real pain or anything so everything’s been really positive so far.”
The 20 year-old said that he doesn’t know if he’ll be ready to play when the Oilers open the season at home against the Winnipeg Jets on October 1, and he’s taking the ‘wait-and-see’ approach.
“I don’t know. I guess time will tell but we’ll see how the next month goes and talk with doctors and go from there.
“Everybody’s going to be a little bit cautious. It’s important to make sure that it’s going to be good for the rest of my career and make sure that it’s a 100% at the start of the fall.”