SUN Hockey Pool

Peckham at Oilers practice

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:59 PM ET

Theo Peckham is back skating with the Edmonton Oilers, but won’t be in the lineup Thursday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Oilers defenceman is still recovering from a concussion suffered in a fight with Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton at the end of February. It has cost Peckham the last seven games.

“I feel good, definitely a couple more days of practice will help,” Peckham said. “For the most part, my head feels good.

“It’s tough. I’ll be ultimately be taking two and-a-half weeks off. Any time you take that much time off, you’re timing is not there and you’re maybe that half-second behind.”

This season Peckham, 23, has developed into a solid stay-at-home defenceman for the Oilers.

He brings much added grit to the lineup and his presence has been missed.

“It’s tough seeing your friends go out there without you,” Peckham said. “But ultimately, it’s what’s for the best.”

Although this is Peckham’s second career concussion, he doesn’t expect to his game to change once he’s given the green light to get back in the lineup.

“I don’t know how much simpler my game gets,” smiled Peckham. “I’ll definitely try to ease into it, but the way I play, it’s kind of tough just to turn that switch off. In the heat of the moment, I’d probably go and do the same things I do normally.”

In 60 games this season, Peckham has three goals, nine assists and a team-leading 153 penalty minutes.

“We’ll give him a couple of more practices and push the pace on him a little bit,” said head coach Tom Renney. “We’ll see how he’s doing after Friday. We’re in that day-to-day range after Friday. We’ll see where his fitness level is and we’ll take it from there.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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