Washington Capitals star forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson have missed the entire beginning of the 2022-23 season as they recover from their respective, serious offseason surgeries. The two just began skating for the first time in late October and have continued to jump on the ice away from the team since.
Caps head coach Peter Laviolette was excited to see both back at MedStar Capitals Iceplex when they first returned and Wednesday morning had an update on their current statuses.
The veteran bench boss did his weekly spot on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies and was asked whether or not he had an order of return for Backstrom and Wilson.
“I can’t even give you an order of return – I don’t have the order of return yet,” Laviolette said. “It’s not like I know one of them is seven days away and one of them is 21 days away and I can say, ‘Oh, it looks like this guy is going to be up first.'”
Laviolette then described what exactly he thinks his veteran stars have been doing on the ice when they get the chance to skate.
“They’re both on the ice,” Laviolette said. “Backy’s been on the ice maybe a little bit longer than Tom but that doesn’t mean anything either. They’re just skating around right now. I think they’re just getting their edges. They’re feeling their edges out there, doing some pattern skating where they’re getting their body and their brain and everything on the same page with regard to the edges on their skates, and what they were dealing with in regard to their injuries.
“But the positive news is that they are both feeling good and they are both out on the ice,” he added. “Eventually, and again, it hasn’t even been talked about so I’m not trying to keep something from you, they’ll join us back in practice. That will be awesome. You start to see these bodies come back and that will be fantastic.”
Wilson is recovering from knee surgery that repaired the ACL in his left leg while Backstrom is working his way back from major hip resurfacing surgery. It has been reported that Wilson is looking at a return date sometime in December while projecting a Backstrom return is likely impossible given the rarity of his circumstances.
As of right now, the Capitals are currently missing over $40 million worth of salary cap due to injury.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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