Oilers' Smyth plays with brace on thumb

Updated: December 29, 2006, 1:12 AM ET

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers got back the heart and soul of their team Thursday, activating left wing Ryan Smyth from injured reserve.

Left Wing
Edmonton Oilers

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Drafted sixth overall in 1994, Smyth suffered a fractured right thumb in a 4-0 loss to Columbus on December 2 and missed Edmonton's next 10 games. The Oilers went 5-5-0 without their long-time leader.

Smyth had an impressive return to Edmonton's lineup, scoring a power-play goal in a 7-4 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night. The veteran's hand movement was limited due to a protective brace he was wearing.

"I'm restricted with the brace that I've got and there were a few things that I wish I had back," he said. "But I'm not going to fault anything. It's my choice to play and you have to play through those kinds of things."

In 25 games prior to the injury, Smyth registered 16 goals and six assists. The 30-year-old Alberta native has collected 251 tallies -- including seven 20-goal campaigns -- and 268 assists in 743 career contests.