Hemsky's getting close

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

Ales Hemsky was on the ice with the Edmonton Oilers yesterday morning and on the team's charter to Denver last night, but it's unlikely he'll play against the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

That said, Hemsky, out with an injury to his right shoulder and collarbone since Nov. 28, has improved to the point where he could be back in the lineup for the rematch with the Avalanche at Rexall Place Tuesday.

"I can skate, but I don't think I'm ready for the battles in the corners. I didn't try it," said Hemsky, nixing any suggestion he'll be more than a spectator at the Pepsi Center tonight.

Injured on a hit by Anaheim defenceman Sean O'Donnell, Hemsky skated on his own in full equipment for the first time Monday while the Oilers were in Nashville and he took yesterday's morning skate.

The shoulder remains tender and Hemsky has yet to take any contact or extend himself when shooting, but there's no question he'll be back before the Christmas break.

"It's kind of sore," he said. "I go day-by-day. Every day it's getting better. I want to get back as soon as possible."


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