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BREAKING: John Carlson Skates For First Time Since Taking Shot To Face

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson skated on his own ahead of Friday’s optional practice for the first time since his injury.



ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals got great news on Friday, as John Carlson was on the ice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex ahead of the team's optional skate.

The Capitals social media account shared photos of him skating on his own. He was in high spirits as he caught up with Nicklas Backstrom and got some individual work in. He was in a tracksuit and helmet but not in full gear.

It was the first time he took the ice since suffering a major injury back on Dec. 23 against the Winnipeg Jets. Carlson was in the defensive zone and took a Brenden Dillon slap shot to the face. He was bleeding profusely from his face and was helped off the ice by athletic trainers.

Carlson spent a night in the hospital for "precautionary evaluation" before being discharged on Christmas Eve. Head coach Peter Laviolette said Carlson had to get multiple stitches. His wife also shared an update and corrected a blog report, explaining that his ear did not fall off or detach. Carlson is currently on the long-term injured reserve and is on a month-to-month timeline.

"There was a bunch of stitches, I mean a bunch of stitches. There was a puck that hit him in the head going 85, 90 miles an hour," Laviolette said in a radio interview. "It was a bad one, it was one of the worst that I've seen."

In 30 games prior to the injury, Carlson had eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points.

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