ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals see several star players ramping up and working toward a return, including T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson.
Getting them back in the lineup will be a major boost to the already-rolling Capitals, though some of these names are closer than others.
Head coach Peter Laviolette provided an update on Oshie, Backstrom and Wilson following a practice where all three were a full go and getting top-6 reps. Oshie also got power-play reps, and it appears he is the closest to return.
"Probably if conversations go well, he’s probably a little bit ahead of others," Laviolette said of Oshie. "We’ll see after the practice today and just wanted to get in. If he was ready, we wanted to get him the reps on the power play to make sure he’s ready.”
As for Backstrom and Wilson, Laviolette said that they still have work to do before making a return to the lineup.
“They’re working. I’d say TJ’s probably closest but I’ll check," Laviolette added. "Backy and Will still have a bit. Nothing wrong, no setbacks just working their way back.”
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Backstrom is recovering from hip resurfacing surgery he underwent in June, while Wilson is working his way back from ACL surgery in May. Both started off skating on their own before practicing with the team in non-contact jerseys and eventually upgrading to full contact. Backstrom returned to practice before Wilson did. Backstrom also just tested out of COVID protocol, which kept him off the ice for five days.
Oshie, meanwhile, is dealing with an upper-body injury he suffered on Dec. 17 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has missed the last six games, but has worked his way back onto the ice and has been a full go in practices. He is not on the injured reserve and could play as soon as Tuesday aginst the Buffalo Sabres.
Laviolette said he'll have a better idea of availability following Tuesday's morning skate.