Oilers’ McLellan: McDavid won’t be back before All-Star break

Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan and rookie Connor McDavid talks about his return and the importance of not rushing back.Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan and rookie Connor McDavid talks about his return and the importance of not rushi

We don’t yet know when Connor McDavid will suit up for his first game back from injury, but we do know it won’t be before the NHL’s All-Star break at the end of the month.

Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan confirmed the news Saturday, saying the 18-year-old rookie “is not physically ready to play.”

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector pointed out Friday that the Oilers have a longer break than most around the All-Star weekend with a nine-day stretch between games, and that it simply wouldn’t make sense for the team to bring McDavid back beforehand.

“Then they have 12 days until their all-star break starts (Jan. 23). Their break begins four days earlier than a lot of teams. So as we get closer to that break, bringing back Connor McDavid (and then having a week off) doesn’t make a lot of sense. I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said earlier this week.

Spector projected Feb. 2 as a logical return date.

McDavid, who suffered a broken clavicle Nov. 3, is likely to travel with the team for their two-game road trip next week, when they'll face the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks.

McLellan also gave a brief update on Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom, indicating he is also doubtful for a return prior to the All-Star weekend.