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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins To Return Monday

Dr. Ryan Smyth gives the all-clear for 93 to return to the lineup
Dr. Ryan Smyth gives the all-clear for 93 to return to the lineup
Bruce Bennett

The Oilers are set to activate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Monday's game against the Devils.

Nugent-Hopkins has been recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum, an injury that most definitely affected his play in last year's abbreviated season.  Should Nugent-Hopkins get inserted into the lineup on Monday, he will have only missed the club's first two games of the season.

While any team would miss their top line centre, the Oilers are also without the services of Sam Gagner for an extended period of time as he recovers from surgery to repair a shattered jaw suffered in a preseason game against Vancouver.

Nugent-Hopkins underwent surgery to repair his torn labrum at the end of April.  Returning to the lineup on Monday will put him a couple of weeks ahead of most everyone's timetable.  (MacTavish stated that November 1st was a 'pessimistic' expectation for his return.)

(stick-tap to @Denny_Sawchuk for the heads up on this tweet from Derek Van Diest)

The Oilers will need Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in their lineup in order to succeed.  They'll also need a completely healthy Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in their lineup in order to succeed.

Surely, the Oilers wouldn't put their first line centre back into the lineup if he wasn't completely ready to go, right?