Nicklas Backstrom unsure if he’ll be ready for start of Capitals' season

Nicklas Backstrom unsure if he’ll be ready for start of Capitals' season

Washington Capitals star center Nicklas Backstrom had arthroscopic hip surgery after last season. All indications are that the surgery went well, and that Backstrom would join the Capitals in training camp.

But appearing in training camp is different than being ready for the start of the 2015-16 season, and Backstrom admitted to Gefle Dagblad 0f Arbetarbladet that he might not answer the bell when the Capitals open against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 10.

“I don’t know if I will be able to play right away when the season starts,” he said.

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But Backstrom reiterated that the surgery “has gone well and I hope it stays that way.”

Said the center: “There has been considerable focus on enhancing mobility in the hip again, from the beginning I could not run or anything, because I wanted to wait to get on the ice also very recently.”

He’s back on the ice, which means hopefully his absence at the start of the season is a short one, if there is one at all.

If Backstrom can’t go, GM Brian MacLellan spelled out what the alternative plan might be to the Washington Post:

If Backstrom cannot start the season, [Evgeny] Kuznetsov would likely slide onto the top line, freeing up the second-line spot for [Andre] Burakovsky or someone else. The ripple effect would see [Jay] Beagle, [Brooks] Laich and Michael Latta in contention for the bottom-six center spots, which they already will be anyway.

As much as we’d love to see the Kuzy/Ovi Show, the Caps need a healthy Backstrom back ASAP.

s/t Malin Elis