Wilson's status for Tuesday's game vs. Isles remains uncertain originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Tom Wilson was on the ice for Monday's optional practice, but he remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury and his status for Tuesday's game against the New York Islanders remains uncertain.
"I felt pretty good," Wilson said after practice. "Obviously good enough to stay out there. Obviously there's a big difference between flow drills and a skate through per se than an NHL hockey game with tons of battles and physical exertion."
Wilson left Friday's game against the Buffalo Sabres in the third period and did not return. The injury kept him out of Sunday's game as well.
The exact nature of Wilson's injury beyond a lower-body issue is unknown. Wilson says it did not happen during one specific play and is not an issue he has dealt with before.
"If you look through the film of the game, you're not going to find anything," Wilson said. "It was a really weird one. It's something I've never had before so mentally I'm dealing with that a little bit too, how it's feeling and not having experienced it in the past. It's one of those things probably fairly specific to hockey, but it's something that you've just got to be careful with and it wasn't one play or another, it was just kind of an unlucky thing that happened out there during a shift."
Losing Wilson while the team is dealing with Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov all out on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol-related absence list is not ideal, but Wilson is taking the long view of the season and trying to make sure he does not reaggravate the issue.
"It's just one of those things that you can't really push through," Wilson said. "Pushing through it might aggravate it. It's nothing too serious, but just trying to be careful with it and make sure I'm ready to go. Obviously, I want to be out there, I want to be battling with the guys, but there's lots of hockey left this year and I've just got to be smart."
Wilson will monitor how he feels Monday night and Tuesday morning after the morning skate to determine if he will be able to play.
"Lot of time before puck drop and we'll see how the body responds," Wilson said.
With so many players out, options are limited for head coach Peter Laviolette. Connor McMichael was thrust into his NHL debut on Sunday as a result of Wilson's absence.
Laviolette would not comment on any specific personnel decisions for Tuesday's game as he intends to wait on Wilson's status before making any decisions.
"I'll probably wait to find out what my options are [Tuesday] before I get into saying something that might or might not happen," Laviolette said. "I think it's always positive when a player's out there. In the same sense, it's early in the season. We want to make sure that he is ready to go and doesn't take step backwards. [Tuesday's morning skate] for me will determine a lot. Once we have some answers, internally we'll talk about who's going to fill the spots."