It’s injury news galore here in Oilersnation and I’m here to tell you all about it!
As you know, there wasn’t a lot of action this past week during the bye-week but it has finally come to an end, and Oilers hockey is back! Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl survived the All-Star weekend which was really my biggest concern the whole week. Because there was no other hockey being played, no one else got injured too! Isn’t that great?
Unfortunately not all injury news is good news this week.
After being hyped up repeatedly that he’ll be returning to us immediately following the bye-week, Oscar Klefbom had a minor setback in his finger surgery recovery in practice on Thursday night. Apparently, he took a stick to the hands which rattled him a little bit. Klefbom continued to practice but it was apparent by Oilers media that he was not participating fully in drills. After the practice on Thursday, he told media that he did get knocked around a little bit, and will have to see how he feels this weekend if he’ll be ready to play.
Coach Hitch says Klefbom won't return to the #Oilers lineup today in Philly or tomorrow in Montreal, citing "too much soreness". The d-man will continue skating & may be ready for Tuesday vs. Chicago.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 2, 2019
Well… as you probably saw earlier today, Oscar Klefbom was not ready to return to the lineup in today’s game against the Flyers NOR will he play tomorrow against the Habs. He is traveling with the team, but apparently, his hand is a little too sore to come back 100%. This absolutely sucks for us, but I’m also relieved that the Oilers aren’t rushing him back earlier than they need to. The last thing we need is another extreme setback from the defenceman.
Take note that it appears the Oilers equipment team made a custom glove for Klefbom to skate in. It’s pretty obvious that his two fingers are taped together, and that’s why his glove is the way it is. I think this is the closest thing we’ll get to a robotic hand so COOL! So let’s all put our hands together and pray that Klefbom will be ready to go this coming Tuesday when the Oilers return home for the first time after the break.
Note the left glove, doctored so (we assume) Klefbom can tape third and fourth fingers together. pic.twitter.com/FNUvBQgsHT
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) February 1, 2019
Andrej Sekera has been a bit of a mystery lately. Dustin Nielson broke a hot take on Inside the Nation this past Thursday that he has an inkling that Sekera might not even need a conditioning stint to return to the lineup. This was news to me and a pretty significant story because all we’ve been talking about for the past two months is Sekera’s conditioning sting in the AHL. When this was front of mind, the first thing I thought of when I heard about Klefbom’s setback was: “Will we see Sekera return before Klefbom?” Sekera has been practicing with the team for a while now and even filled in for Klefbom in practice after he re-injured his hand. Something to ponder, that’s for sure.
Of course a day later, Elliotte Friedman comes out and says that Sekera could be in the AHL for a conditioning stint as early as next week. Now I’m REALLY confused. Sekera’s been skating for a while so I’m really not sure what the Oilers are going to do. All I know is that we’re going to be in an extreme cap problem when Andrej is activated because, at the moment, we don’t have any room for him to come back.
Another issue I think of with the Sekera return is how helpful he’s going to be on the ice. This is a guy who hasn’t played hockey at 100% health in almost two years. The game has changed quite a bit in that time so can we really expect him to keep up? My favorite thing about Reggie is his patience with the puck, so hopefully, that doesn’t change after his time off.
I’m very curious to see how things shake up over the next week.
Previous Injury Reports
- Klefbom and Petrovic skating
- Petrovic sidelined, Yamamoto close, and Russell’s return
- Chiasson returning, Russell close, and Jones reaping the benefits
- Everything is awful right now
- Kris Russell update, Adam Larsson’s foot, and Sekera’s doctor appointment