Edmonton, AB - Nail Yakupov returned to action Friday at Perry Pearn's 3-on-3 Camp, but wasn't particularly amused with how quickly a story spread about how his scraped up right leg required more than a couple bandages.
To put it to rest: it's not infected and it never was.
"Somebody said it was an infection, but it's nothing," he said, rather bluntly as he addressed the media at the K of C Twin Arenas in north Edmonton. "It looks worse than it is, but I can skate, I can work out, I can sleep.
"I'm good now. I'm practicing. Nobody worry about my leg."
The 18-year-old has handled sizeable opponents without incident this week, such as Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester and Minnesota's Matt Kassian, but it was a mishap (or, rather, a misstep) with a treadmill that caused the injury.
Yakupov was sporting clean, white bandages on his right shin Monday morning but otherwise looked no worse for wear and was in good spirits.
Still, the story blew up -- not only in Edmonton, but across the pond and in his hometown. In world driven by instant news across various social media networks, it's nearly impossible to prevent.
As annoying as it was.
"'Oh, Nail has an infection!' I saw it in Russian news and Canadian news. I don't know how they got that (story)."
In the meantime, Yakupov kept busy training with Oilers Strength & Conditioning Consultant, Simon Bennett. When he wasn't working out in the gym, he was doing heart-pumping sprints up and down the stairs in Edmonton's scenic river valley.
"I'm good. Why would I stop?" he said of the exercise. "You have to run and you have to work if you want to play in the NHL. "It's hard, it's tough, but I love to sweat and work hard. I love it. It's simple."
Yakupov, who will don No. 64 this season ("I love 64."), says Perry Pearn's 3-on-3 Camp has been a good experience. Getting the chance to prepare against pros has provided a good learning environment -- one that the sniper hopes will have him at the top of his game when training camp opens in a little less than a month.
"Every player here is really good," he said. "They skate well and are tough to play against, but we're not working at 100 percent -- we don't want to kill somebody. Everyone has been playing good games."
Yakupov's agent, Igor Larionov, said earlier this week that his client would play in the KHL -- in his hometown of Nizhnekamsk -- in the event of a lockout come Sept. 15.
For now, Yakupov is keeping his lips sealed on the matter.
"I don't know what it's going to be. I can't say anything. You can ask me every day, but I can't say."
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com | Follow me on Twitter @ryandittrick