The Washington Capitals got a sight for sore eyes on Friday.
Top-pairing defenseman John Carlson was on the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The Capitals held an optional skate after their 3-2 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night.
Carlson wore a tracksuit while skating.
it johnny be good to see you this morning, @JohnCarlson74 pic.twitter.com/Stzq2MwQUK
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 27, 2023
It marks the second straight day that Carlson has skated. According to @DCSportsNews365, the rearguard was on the ice ahead of the Capitals-Penguins game, Thursday.
NBC Sports Washington’s Matt Weyrich reports that Carlson will continue to do low-level exercises before being reevaluated in late February.
Carlson is recovering from getting hit in the side of the head by a Brenden Dillon slap shot on December 23. The veteran blueliner was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons and discharged the next day.
Scary moment as John Carlson takes a slapshot to the face. Hoping he's okay. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Bx89BnPdRK
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) December 24, 2022
The Caps placed Carlson on long-term injured reserve after announcing that he would be out longterm.
The last time John was publicly around the team was when head coach Peter Laviolette revealed that Carlson attended the Tuesday, January 3 game between the Caps and Buffalo Sabres.
Carlson’s injury remains unclear, but John’s wife Gina has given clues over recent weeks.
In a recent Instagram Story photo, Gina posted a an image of John where there are visible line indentations near the defender’s right ear, similar to that of a healing surgical incision.
In a birthday post for her husband, Gina said, “With your ear back on 🙈, you came home from the hospital & did it all.” Gina clarified the next day that Carlson’s ear literally did not come off.
This season marks the first time since the 2015-16 campaign that Carlson has missed extended time with an individual injury. He broke his foot that year and missed over 20 games due to the ailment. Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was his 15th straight game missed.
The Capitals hold a 7-6-2 record without Carlson in the lineup for those games. That comes directly after a 9-2-1 stretch in the December matchups before his injury.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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