EDMONTON — Connor McDavid took part in the first practice of Edmonton Oilers training camp Friday at Rogers Place.
The 22-year-old center is recovering from a torn PCL in his left knee, sustained April 6 in the season finale against the Calgary Flames.
“It was fun, it was good to get out there as a group,” McDavid said after the 90-minute practice. “There are lots of new faces, management, coaches, players, there is lots of new stuff going on, so it was fun to get out there the first time.”
McDavid, who wore a regular blue practice jersey, did not appear limited in his mobility. He has not been cleared for contact by the Oilers.
“I feel good,” he said. “Contactwise, you have to ask the docs, I don’t really know.”
It was uncertain if McDavid would be cleared to practice with the Oilers on the first day of on-ice sessions.
“It was a complicated summer there was a lot of stuff going on,” he said. “There was lots of different opinions, there were times where it was definitely in doubt, but right now it’s good.”
Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday that McDavid likely will not play in any preseason games and could miss the season opener against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 2. Coach Dave Tippett reiterated that Friday.
“We’re not going to throw him into any games anytime soon, we’re going to see how it goes for the next few days,” Tippett said. “It was a pretty hard practice, it was a pretty intense practice, he went through it and he’s fine.
“We’re going step by step. We’re being cautious with this with the doctors, they gave him the green light to jump into practice, but they haven’t given him the green light to get into a game yet. We’ll see how this week goes. He won’t get into any games this week and we’ll reevaluate at the end of the week, see how the practices have gone for him and see how he’s feeling.”
McDavid, who had an NHL career-high 116 points (41 goals, 75 assists) in 78 games last season and was the second in the League behind Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (128 points; 41 goals, 87 assists), was on the ice with some teammates Saturday for the first time since his the injury, which did not require surgery.
“It’s a day-by-day thing,” Tippett said. “He’d like to play some games, but the doctors, Ken and myself and Connor are all talking and we want to be cautious with it.”