The Washington Capitals’ injured list has been like my son’s Christmas list: long and constantly evolving.
Friday, during the Capitals’ optional skate, head coach Peter Laviolette gave updates to the press on all of the guys.
Laviolette saved his most-detailed update for Nicklas Backstrom who is attempting to return from major hip surgery over the offseason.
Fehervary was injured in the Capitals-Flames game on December 3 after taking an awkward check from Milan Lucic. He no longer has his arm in a sling. Fehervary is officially out day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Peter Laviolette: “I think he’s been out (skating) in the morning. He’s by himself. He’s working himself into things. I don’t believe he’s out here with the group yet, no. He’s not here but he’s on the ice and progressing.”
Beck Malenstyn was skating with the main group during Saturday’s optional skate. Malenstyn blocked a shot on November 1 against the Vegas Golden Knights and is out due to an upper-body injury.
Peter Laviolette: “It’s just been a day or two since he’s been out here and mixing in a little bit. He’s able to do more so it’s nice to see and get him out here.”
Beck Malenstyn back practicing at optional skate today! More good news for Caps injury recovery. pic.twitter.com/p01oauEG2W
— Katie (@That_WriterGirl) December 16, 2022
Darcy Kuemper left the December 4 Caps-Flames game after being elbowed in the head. He’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Peter Laviolette: “From what I’ve talked to the staff about, he hasn’t been cleared yet for games and so he’s in a practice like this. This is full-go out here. There are no restrictions for him. I think it’s day-to-day. I think he’s close but I have not heard anything yet.”
A broad Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom update
Nicklas Backstrom is trying to return from hip surgery while Tom Wilson had his ACL repaired. Neither have played this season, but have begun practicing with the team in non-contact jerseys.
Peter Laviolette: “They’re ramping up right now and eventually, like I said, these jersey colors will change and there will be a process that goes to that next step where they’re now involved in contact and in the battles more and the physicality of it. Certainly to see them out here competing as hard as they are, that’s a really good thing.
“The trainers make sure they’ve gone through the right steps and not done too much. They’re ramping up now. One day could follow another tough day. It’s not like they have to go backwards or they have to slow it down. Some days they do slow it down but that’s part of the plan. So it’s not been a setback. Everything’s been a good steady progression moving forward with these guys.”
Nicklas Backstrom, specifically
Peter Laviolette: “Just the smile on his face. He doesn’t seem to be carrying pain. He seems to be moving free. He’s working hard to get back in shape. He looks good to me out there. His skating looks good, his hands always look good, his hockey sense is always great. The skating looks good to me. It’d probably be a better question for him and seeing how he feels about things.”
Milano was a late scratch for Thursday’s Capitals-Stars game.
Peter Laviolette: “Non-COVID illness. That just popped up. [The injuries] changes everyday. It changes everyday. Check with me tomorrow.”
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