Welcome to the 2016 edition of the Injury Report! I can tell you one thing, starting now… or next week, the injury report is going to have a lot less content. I’ve got a pretty good feeling that January is the month that we finally start getting a healthy team again. There will be no more high ankle sprains, broken collarbones, or swollen hips. The Oilers’ New Years resolution should not only be to win more games, but to have less referees fall on their players. Actually they may as shoot for having no more injures all together. I figure they both compliment each other, less injuries, equals more wins. GO MATH!
I think I’m going to miss writing about Connor McDavid every week in the injury report when he finally gets back into the lineup. Obviously I’d rather have him playing, but the guy makes life more interesting even if it involves discussing his broken bones. That’s one thing about the McDavid Effect®, even though the guy has missed most of the season he is still providing us with stuff to talk about, along with that other thing – hope.
It’s safe to say that Connor is on a week to week basis right now (trust me I’m an unlicensed doctor). The next Oilers game isn’t even until the end of this week so I will be so bold as to say he’s game-to-game right now. McDavid has been skating with the team, taking (and I’m assuming, winning) faceoffs, scoring goals, being a leader, and all that other junk that we love him for. Though he isn’t wearing a non-contact jersey, it doesn’t appear that the practices have been overly physical for him. One thing we can say for sure is that most of the wait is over. My guess is that he’ll be back within two weeks.
Nail Yakupov has also been practicing with the team. It was pretty smart of Todd McLellan to throw the two of them together in practice, even though they’re not game-ready at the moment. McDavid and Yak are both energy players who the rest of the team look up to (well… Connor McDavid is at least). I’m sure having the two of them in practice gives the boys some confidence and gives them all a morale boost. Obviously their energy is working because we’re undefeated in 2016! Like McDavid, Yak’s return timeline isn’t set in stone, but it is looking like it will be sometime in January.
The question I’ve been thinking about is how big will the firework show be in Rexall Place when McDavid returns? I’m guessing bigger than what happened on New Years Eve. Obviously the night will start by lowering McDavid down from the rafters in the pregame skate, but will all the fans be getting thunder sticks and noise makers? The celebration is going to be huge, and I can’t wait another minute! Maybe we should throw another Nation party?
I don’t even know where to start with Oscar Klefbom. The guy’s hand injury is almost 100%, according to McLellan. We were left to stay up all night, refreshing Twitter over and over again, waiting for the Oilers to activate him from the IR and all of a sudden he’s injured again with a lower AND upper body injury! Apparently the lower body injury happened during his recovery of the hand injury. I’m not exactly sure how it went down, but I think I came up with a scenario of how this happened.
Either way, when I found out about Klefbom’s new injuries. There was only one thing going through my mind, and David here was thinking the exact same thing.
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) January 1, 2016
The timeline for Klefbom’s injury doesn’t look good as McLellan said it is not short term issue. Welp… I hope McDavid’s cardio is better than ever because we may to need to him to play some defence when he gets back. Since he was taken off the IR a week ago, Brandon Davidson has actually been playing pretty well on the back end and filling in for Klefbom as best he can. Gryba also missed the New Years Eve game to nagging injuries, but appears to be healthy as he returned to the lineup for the game against Carolina last night.
Iro Pakarinen left last week’s game against the Kings after taking a big hit from Mersch in the first period. He has missed two games so far with an upper body injury (likely a rattled melon), but has been skating this week so hopefully it won’t bee too long without him. We all need some Little Buttcheeks with us!
THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ Podcast
This week we talk about the Oilers goaltending struggles, the acquisition of Zack Kassian, we come up with some New Years resolutions, and we debut a new segment called Ask The Idots! Happy New Year!