Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers will have Taylor Hall available for Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, with the standout left wing returning ahead of schedule from a left knee sprain.
Hall was initially expected to miss around four weeks with the injury, which occurred during a matchup at Ottawa on Oct. 19. The 2010 No. 1 overall pick was cleared to play by the Oilers' medical staff, however, and head coach Dallas Eakins confirmed Hall will be in Thursday's lineup.
"He's been cleared to play and he will play," said Eakins. "How he's going and how the team is going will determine how much ice time he gets tonight."
Hall had gotten his fourth NHL season off to a strong start, recording three goals and five assists in nine games prior to the injury.
The 21-year-old will skate with a brace on his left knee for the remainder of the season.