Edmonton Oilers offer an extremely encouraging update on Vincent Desharnais

It turns out that Vincent Desharnais may not be out for the Edmonton Oilers anywhere near as long as originally suspected given the nature of his injury.

Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Vincent Desharnais has been in the unexpected position of being one of the main sources of Edmonton Oilers news in recent days. And all because of a fight with the Avalanche's John Manson on Saturday night, near the end of the second period.

As a result of the fight, the Oilers kept Desharnais out for the remainder of the 3-2 overtime loss as a precaution. Postgame, coach Kris Knoblauch admitted the defenceman might have sustained an injury as a result of the scuffle with Manson.

This was soon followed by a report from Oilers Nation, that the 27-year-old had broken a finger. Of most importance, there was speculation that he would miss at least a few games and potentially even a few weeks.

A more positive outlook

However, it now transpires that the situation surrounding Desharnais is nowhere near as bad as feared. In fact, as per CBS Sports, he would have been out on the ice for Tuesday night's 3-2 overtime win versus the Montreal Canadiens if he'd had his way.

Knoblauch offered some clarity on his blue-liner's injury status on Wednesday afternoon, following practice at Rogers Place. Speaking to the media, he said: "He hasn't taken any time off. He's been out there fully practising all the time. The first day or two (following the injury) maybe he was a little limited in his activity, but we'll make a decision (Thursday) if he's playing (versus the Buffalo Sabres)."

In reality it's more about being cautious for everyone concerned. Of further encouragement though, Knoblauch also said: "If we needed him and it was the playoffs, he'd be ready to go. We're just deciding what's best for our team and certainly we don't want it to be an injury that aggravates and the rehab time gets stretched out."

Desharnais over Stecher preferred

This is of course all excellent news for the Oilers and their fans. As much as recent trade acquisition Troy Stecher is a capable replacement in the lineup, the team is better-served if he is the seventh defenceman more often than not.

While Desharnais may offer little value offensively, this isn't really a major concern when considering the overall firepower on the Oilers roster. He is however a blossoming force defensively, helped by his imposing physical presence.

The only real frustration in respect of the Laval, Quebec native, is that he had recently joined Darnell Nurse in the second pairing. Any time out of the lineup only slows down the process of the duo becoming more accustomed with each other, but regardless, there is genuine potential for them to develop into one of the best second pairings in the NHL.

dark. Next. Two points is two points. Two points is two points

Again though, the Oilers are right about taking a cautious approach with this entire situation. As much as the team wants to finish the regular season as well-positioned as possible, it's all about being healthy once the playoffs begin, to help in the pursuit of a first Stanley Cup in Edmonton since 1990.

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