Connor McDavid healing thyself faster than Oilers expected

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2015, file photo, Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) skates during warm up before playing against the St. Louis Blues in an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta. McDavid left the ice favoring his left shoulder during the second period of a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Edmonton. He was seen wearing a sling in the hallway behind the dressing room and did not return for the third period. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2015, file photo, Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) skates during warm up before playing against the St. Louis Blues in an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta. McDavid left the ice favoring his left shoulder during the second period of a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Edmonton. He was seen wearing a sling in the hallway behind the dressing room and did not return for the third period. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

Connor McDavid really isn’t going to shake this McJesus stuff if he continues to do things like healing faster than the Edmonton Oilers had anticipated.

McDavid broke his clavicle on Nov. 3 in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, who intentionally injured him according to Don Cherry. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli set his recovery time at five months, which could have meant early March.

Well, praise Connor! He will hath risen by mid-to-late January, according to this report from Mark Spector of Sportsnet:

Though no one would offer a firm date for McDavid’s return, at this rate the betting is that he could be back in the Edmonton Oilers lineup in mid-to-late January, rather than the early March return originally forecasted by the team.

“He’s ahead of schedule,” Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed from Detroit on Thursday. “He’s been in the pool, been lifting weights… There are no soft tissue injuries, which is important. When you get a break like that, oftentimes there is accompanying soft tissue injuries. That slows down the recovery.”

As we noted when McDavid was injured, there are plenty of examples in recent NHL history in which a player returned from a broken collarbone well ahead of schedule. You had Patrick Kane’s recovery for last year’s playoffs. Jacob Josefson of the New Jersey Devils broke his on Oct. 21, 2011; he was back on the ice on Jan. 17, 2012.

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Hockey Jesus powers aside, “sooner than later” was always the safest bet for McDavid.

The question now isn’t whether a January return could jumpstart the Oilers – McDavid could probably still challenge for the Calder on a points-per-game basis – but whether it’ll matter for a team that’s already nine points out of a playoff spot.

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