It's surprising, considering the reckless abandon with which he plays the game, but Thursday marks the first time in Taylor Hall's career that he will return to the lineup after injury.

The sophomore winger is expected to play when the Edmonton Oilers travel to Phoenix to face the Coyotes.

"Last year I didn't get to come back, this is kind of new territory for me," said Hall. "I'm just working as hard as I can in practice to get the timing back that's going to help me out.

"I have to do a test (Wednesday) just to see if my fitness is at par. I have a feeling it will be and if it's good on that front, then I think I'll be ready."

Hall has been out since Dec. 9, after suffering a shoulder injury against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Oilers winger sustained the injury when he was hammered into the boards by Avalanche defenceman Ryan Wilson.