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Backstrom optimistic about returning to Capitals this season after surgery

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Arlington, Virginia — Niklas Backstrom He’s optimistic he’ll play for the Washington Capitals at some point this season after recovering from resurfacing surgery on his left hip, but there’s no timetable for his return.

“I’m going to start off by saying I’m not in pain,” the center said on Thursday, the first day of training camp. , going through rehab. So far so good. I’m very optimistic that I can play before the end of the season.”

The 34-year-old scored 31 goals (six goals and 25 assists) in 47 games after missing the first 28 games of last season due to hip rehabilitation. Backstrom underwent surgery on June 17 after dealing with hip pain the past two seasons.

“It was life-changing for me in everyday life,” he said. “Just picking up socks, tying shoes, playing with the kids. It’s been very helpful for me physically, I’m happy about it, I feel great, now it’s the next step to get back on the ice.”

Backstrom has yet to start skating and is focusing on cardio and strength training.

General Manager Brian McClellan said, “I know he feels really good physically right now just doing what he does every day.” We’ll look at how skating affects him, how strength recovers, how mobility recovers, and how he can use it in match situations. It’s a long road, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Forward Tom WilsonHe missed the start of the season after undergoing reconstructive surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on May 24, but said he is making good progress. Neither Wilson nor McClellan provided an update on his plans to return. The Capitals said in May that it would take Wilson six to eight months to recover.

“I feel good,” said Wilson. “I feel like I’m ahead of schedule from day one, but unfortunately that doesn’t make much sense. Of course, I want to do the best I can every day, but I still have to wait.”

Wilson said there is no timetable for when he will start skating. Mackenzie Wieger In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round on May 3, Florida missed the rest of a best-of-seven series that they won by six games.

“Definitely we weren’t putting up a smokescreen, but in our minds we were going to do everything we could to get back. [in the series]’ said Wilson.

The 28-year-old had an NHL career-high with 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points in 78 games last season.

Forward TJ Oshie On Thursday, he revealed he underwent major procedures early in the offseason. He didn’t participate in Thursday’s skating test, but practiced on Friday. The 35-year-old scored his 25th goal (11 goals and 14 assists) in 44 games last season.

Forward Karl HagelinHe did not participate in the skating test as he was working to recover from an injury to his left eye struck with a stick blade during practice on March 1.

“He has a lower body injury that needs to be addressed and he is currently working through the final stages of that,” McClellan said. “He will be out indefinitely.”

Hagelin previously said that the choroid at the back of his eye had ruptured and he would never be able to regain full vision in his eye.

“I think it’s still improving, so it’s not definitive at this point,” McClellan said of Hagelin’s vision. “Something else is going on, so he’ll be here for a while to heal and see what happens.”

The 34-year-old scored 14 goals (3 goals and 11 assists) in 53 games last season.