Oilers hope returning McDavid can stop them slipping further

Mon Feb 1, 2016 11:45pm EST
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(Reuters) - Connor McDavid will return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup following a long injury absence on Tuesday, with his team hoping their top overall draft pick can inspire an improved second half of the season following the All-Star Break.

The 19-year-old McDavid will take to the ice for the first time since fracturing his collar bone on Nov. 3 when the center lines up against the Columbus Blue Jackets after missing 37 games.

The Oilers will be delighted to finally send out a fully fit lineup as they sit rock bottom of the Western Conference with a 19-26-5 record and McDavid's presence could lead to a reversal of fortunes.

"I know everyone is excited in here, I don't think anyone feels out of it (the hunt for a playoff berth) by any means," McDavid told reporters. "I'm excited to play again. It feels like my first game all over again."

The Canadian, who has five goals and 12 points in 13 games, will also get a first opportunity to team up with right wing Jordan Eberle, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury until shortly after McDavid hurt his clavicle.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

Oct 31, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports