McDavid (hand) cleared for contact ahead of World Juniors

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Connor McDavid took a big step towards his recovery from a broken hand when he was cleared for contact on Monday.

“It’s kind of been the plan for a while now,” McDavid told the Canadian Press. “The last checkup was a couple Tuesdays ago, and that’s kind of been the plan from Day One was to start contact on this date. Just kind of following the plan.”

He sustained the injury on Nov. 11 during a fight with Bryson Cianfrone. If all goes well, the 17-year-old forward will be available to play with Team Canada when the nation starts its 2015 World Junior Championship schedule with a contest versus Slovakia on Dec. 26.

“I’ve been almost bag-skating for three weeks. My legs feel great, the legs aren’t too much of an issue at all,” McDavid said. “Obviously still getting the hands back is coming along, getting a little better. The only thing that’s going to come is timing. The only way to do that is through competition and through contact and all that. That’s going to take a little time to get back.”

McDavid is regarded as a potential franchise cornerstone and he’s often projected to be selected with the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to getting hurt, he had 16 goals and 51 points in 18 contests with the OHL Erie Otters.

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