Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from a lacerated wrist according to Oilers GM Ken Holland.
Kane hasn't played a game since November 11th when his left wrist was accidentally sliced open by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon in a freak play. Kane stormed off the ice in a very scary moment and was immediately transported to an area hospital to undergo emergency surgery.
Initially, Kane's recovery was reported as 3-4 months, but today Holland told ESPN Greg Wyshynski that Kane could return to action later this month.
"He's ahead of schedule," said Holland. "Three months was around Feb. 3. We were kind of hoping that if everything went well, he would return sometime in the month of February. Now [the range] is the end of January to the middle of February."
Kane has been traveling and practicing with the team, but hasn't given anyone any sense of how close he is to returning.
"Even though he feels great to practice, the doctors like a certain period of time [for recovery] after surgery," said Holland to Wyshynski.
The Oilers have two games in the final week of January before returning home for the NHL All-Star break. Holland himself said that Kane could play in "the final two of three games" before the break or he may elect to remain out of the lineup until after the break when the Oilers return to action on February 7th.
"We'll see how he's feeling. We'll see how the team is doing. We'll see what the doctors are telling him," said Holland.
I can see why Kane would want to get some time in before the break. Get out there, see how your body reacts and then take the 9 day break to really get your body and mind right. If, however, he elects to return to action following the break I feel like he'll have to spend more time getting back into playing shape and learning to trust his instincts again. And, the fact of the matter is that the Oilers can't afford much time for experimentation. They need to stack up some wins and they need to do it NOW.