Nicklas Backstrom says returning to Capitals and playing in an NHL game again ‘meant the world’ to him
Nicklas Backstrom underwent a grueling offseason procedure on his hip that for him was a last resort. Nearly a decade earlier, Backstrom had an arthroscopic procedure done to address the pain he was feeling. It helped for a few years but the pain returned.
After struggling to skate on the ice or play with his children off of it, Backstrom decided to have hip resurfacing surgery over the summer to try and ultimately fix the problem. The procedure had its risks. In a worst-case scenario, the surgery could have ended his career, but if it all worked out, it could reinvigorate his final years until retirement.
Backstrom rehabbed tenaciously for a little over six months. According to an ESPN story, Backstrom was in a swimming pool three days after the surgery, walking on crutches within two weeks, and lifting weights within two months. He ultimately returned to the ice four months later.
And then finally, on January 8, Backstrom made his grand return to the Washington Capitals in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There were probably many questions swirling around in his head beforehand: How well would he play? Did he still have it? How would his hip hold up? And would he live up to his fans’ and his own high expectations?
Postgame, Backstrom admitted he felt the pressure.
By Ian Oland 3 months ago