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the prospect

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid speaks to media for the first time since his injury on Monday, Nov. 16 2015.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Wearing a Movember mustache and no sling, Connor McDavid for the first time on Monday addressed the injury that interrupted his inaugural NHL season.

The NHL's rookie of the month in October suffered a fractured collarbone in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 3, and underwent surgery the following day. He led all first-year players with five goals and 12 points when he fell awkwardly late in the second period of a game at Rexall Place.

"I feel really good," McDavid said as his teammates, just back from a road trip, practised at a recreation complex on the north side of Edmonton – Rexall Place was unavailable after being the site of a rodeo for the last week. "I feel way better than I thought I would at this point."

Standing before cameras and a group of 30 reporters, McDavid said he had done a light upper-body workout in the morning, and is able to ride a stationary bike. No timetable was suggested for his return beyond the initial estimate that it could take months.

"I am obviously disappointed," the 18-year-old, selected first overall in the June draft, said. "It's a fast game and people are going to get hurt. Things happen."

The most-talked-about prospect to enter hockey since Sidney Crosby 10 years ago, McDavid was tearing down the left wing on a short-handed breakaway when he went down. Philadelphia's Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto, who weigh a combined 390 pounds, drove him into the boards.

McDavid skated to the bench slowly, touching his jersey at the collarbone with his right hand. He sat with teammates for the last minute and a half of the period before leaving for the dressingroom. After that, he never returned.

"I got up and got to the bench, but was in shock a little bit," McDavid said. "I knew something wrong."

A slow-motion replay of the seconds preceding the injury showed that McDavid's left skate appeared to turn suddenly, and he fell and slid shoulder-first with Manning and Del Zotto on top of him.

"When three guys go into the boards at that type of speed, something is going to happen," McDavid said.

Oilers coach Todd McLellan said that he believed the injury was an accident, and not inflicted as a result of any bad intent on the part of the Flyers. McDavid agrees, but deferred when asked to comment.

He had a follow-up appointment with his surgeon later Monday, and planned to see him again on Tuesday to discuss the results of X-rays and other tests. McDavid said that a plate and screws were inserted to patch up his broken collarbone.

"The main part is just getting back 100 per cent," he said. "If there is anything positive to come out of the situation, it's that it is a broken bone, and I will heal."

The Oilers have gone 1-4 since his injury, and are 6-12 and in last place in their division. They have not reached the postseason since 2006, but are hoping to build a playoff-calibre team around McDavid.

Granted permission to enter the Ontario Hockey League at age 15, McDavid has skills that have been likened to those of Crosby and Wayne Gretzky.

"Connor is convalescing and is not in any pain," Jeff Jackson, the teenager's agent, said. "He is just chilling out and trying to relax, which is tough to do at his age. It's just a matter of letting the bone heal.

"He will pick up where he left off, I know the way he is. I don't have any doubt that he will hit the ground running."

McDavid's housemate, Taylor Hall, said he feels badly for him.

"He is disappointed, but once he is skating and on the ice, it will make him feel a bit better," said Hall, one of the team's four captains. "I am trying to cheer him up a bit. It is fair to say that he has been a bit grumpy."

Twitter: @globemartyk

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