Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson are still on the road to recovery, but both took small — yet at the same time, big — steps on Wednesday.
Backstrom and Wilson were in full gear and on the ice for the Capitals in-house media day. Washington tweeted out the photos on its Twitter account. While the ice is in the background, the skates can’t be seen for No. 43 and No. 19.
Still, the full gear was on. Here are the shots:
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 21, 2022
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir did mention earlier this month that both would be on skates but taking it very easy for photoshoots.
Still, it’s a good sign to see both in high spirits and back in gear as they continue recovering from injury.
Backstrom is coming off hip resurfacing surgery this offseason, a big-time decision for the Swede. He underwent the procedure in Belgium, which has ended some NHL careers but led to a major increase in the quality of life. Backstrom admitted that he is no longer in chronic pain, and that before the surgery, it was nearly impossible to put on his socks or play with his children.
The 34-year-old still intends to return and continue his NHL career and has insisted that he could play again at some point this season. It will be a lengthy rehabilitation, but given his drive and determination, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back. He had 36 points in 47 games in 2021-22 after starting the season late due to his hip rehab prior to the surgery.
Wilson, meanwhile, is still recovering from ACL surgery in May. He suffered the injury in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers. He was trying to avoid a hit on Mackenzie Weegar and tweaked his knee, leading to the torn ACL. However, he is reportedly “ahead of schedule,” per El-Bashir. Wilson is coming off a career year that saw him dish a career-high 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points, as well as earn an invite to the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend in Vegas.