Connor McDavid injury is not without concern for Edmonton Oilers fans

With the playoffs fast approaching, it is understandable if Oilers fans are worried after Connor McDavid's absence for the upcoming game versus the Coyotes.
Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames / Leah Hennel/GettyImages

When Connor McDavid did not play on Wednesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights, it didn't stop the Edmonton Oilers securing a dominating 5-1 win. However, there was still some understandable concern about the absence of number 97.

McDavid was listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, which he sustained during the Oilers' 4-2 win versus the Calgary Flames last Saturday night. Regardless, despite the official designation of day-to-day, concerns remained among fans.

These concerns weren't helped, when the Oilers captain missed practice at Rogers place on Thursday. Further, as per Derek Van Diest of, McDavid is questionable to return to action on Friday night versus the lowly Arizona Coyotes.

When will McDavid be back?

With just five regular season games remaining for the Oilers, how soon should fans expect McDavid to return to the team? Is it possible that his lower body injury is more serious than originally thought?

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch did his best to alleviate any fears about the top player in the game. Speaking to the assembled media on Thursday, he said: "(McDavid's) day-to-day. If it was a playoff game, he would be playing last night, but he's still questionable for tomorrow."

Along these lines, it was encouraging to see the seven-time All-Star heading to the locker room under his steam, following Wednesday night's important -- and impressive -- victory over the Golden Knights. He did not look like someone labouring with an injury of any real significance.

Knoblauch was also asked about this by the media. With a smile, he said: "He's not in a wheelchair, or got a boot on, or anything like that. He's doing pretty good and I think yesterday he enjoyed being one of the guys and being able to just enjoy the game and not have the pressure on him. He was able to cheer on his teammates and participate in the celebration after the game. I think he enjoyed it. Obviously he'd rather be on the ice, but I think this little time away, he can reset, get fully rested and healed and be ready to go."

Oilers are fine in the short-term

The media did also comment on how well the Oilers played without McDavid in the lineup, meaning there was not as much urgency to bring him back. Knoblauch said: "I like the way that we responded, the way that we played, but if he's ready to play, he's coming back in."

Knoblauch also talked about how the Oilers' will handle McDavid's injury moving forward. He said: "The biggest picture moving forward is his health and is he 100 percent, ready and good to go when the playoffs start, because that's when it's most important."

In general, it still doesn't sound as if the three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner's injury has developed into anything long-term. At the same time, some of Knoblauch's comments could easily be (mis)construed as alluding to something slightly more serious than day-to-day.

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Along these lines, until McDavid is actually back on the ice playing, Oilers fans can be forgiven for being at least slightly worried about his absence. As an aside, the majority of people would like to see him become just the fourth person in NHL history to reach 100 assists in a season -- he's just one away -- but ultimately, as long as he's back healthy and playing for the playoffs, that's all that matters.

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