The Capitals were the healthiest team in the league during the 2016-17 season with only 49-man games lost due to injury. That luck had to end at some point, and it appears it has early this season.
Matt Niskanen, who is arguably the Capitals’ top defenseman, was placed on long-term injured reserved last week, while Lars Eller missed last night’s game due to the flu. Eller’s replacement, Tyler Graovac, only made it through the first period last night.
Although Niskanen’s injury is listed as upper-body, he was clenching his left arm and hand on the bench before leaving the game against the New Jersey Devils.
Niskanen joined the team at the FBI Academy Wednesday without an obvious cast, brace, or sling on his left arm and hand. This is good news for the Caps, although being placed on LTIR means he will not be able to return until November 7th at the very earliest.
Graovac, who suffered an upper-body injury on Tuesday and is expected, according to Barry Trotz, to “miss a little bit of time,” was noticeably absent from the team photo. After the game, Barry Trotz said he would have a better update on Graovac’s injury today, but the absence hints that Graovac was either not well enough to attend or was getting treatment or a diagnosis back at home.
Vrana is healthy, but at the team event Wednesday he wore a wrap on his right knee. This could very well be a pre-cautionary wrap, but it’s worth noting.
Eller missed practice and Tuesday’s game with an “illness” but he seems to be feeling better as he was present for the team event.
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