After rejoining his teammates on the ice at the end of last month, Nicklas Backstrom continues to progress in his recovery from offseason hip surgery. On Wednesday, he took part in a full practice for the first time this season after being cleared for contact by his doctor on Monday afternoon. His return appears to be on the horizon.
“It’s probably gonna be day-to-day,” head coach Barry Trotz said when asked what Backstrom’s status was. “Obviously when a guy gets cleared it falls into a shorter time period. It also depends on how he feels once we bump him around a little bit and check him up.”
Wednesday afternoon, the Capitals put checking-line forward Sean Collins on waivers, opening up a roster spot.
Matt Donovan (BUF) clears waivers. Sean Collins (WSH) on waivers.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 14, 2015
Backstrom will not play Thursday against Chicago. It seems unlikely that he will play Saturday either. Instead, his return may come sometime during Washington’s west coast road trip next week, though Backstrom refused to get into get into specific dates.
“It was good that I started practicing with the team,” he said. “I’m cleared for contact so that’s even better. Now it’s a matter of time. I don’t know yet. We don’t know. It all depends on how it feels.”
The Capitals star center, who did not miss a single game last year while leading the league in assists, says he still has to improve his strength and timing before he can suit up for action.
“It’s gonna be totally different,” Backstrom said of the difference between practice and a game. “I have to feel comfortable out there. That’s what I’m looking for. As of now, I’m feeling good.”
Until he gets back, Backstrom is stuck watching games on television. On Tuesday night, he got a buddy after Alex Ovechkin was scratched for oversleeping the morning skate. The duo had not missed the same game since the 2011-12 season.
“We talked a lot about Joe B. and Craig Laughlin,” Backstrom said. “We were listening to them. We thought they were funny.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.