The Washington Capitals have gotten a lot of good news this past week, and on Friday, things got even better with Tom Wilson taking a step forward in his recovery.
Wilson was in the pool walking and then getting his left leg worked on as he continues to work toward his comeback from a torn ACL.
Here’s a look at his progress so far:
The 28-year-old suffered the injury in Game 1 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Florida Panthers. Wilson went in for a hit on Mackenzie Weegar and tried to avoid contact, and ended up tearing his ACL in a “freak” accident in the first 1:31 minutes of play. Despite the injury, he attempted to return to action for the Capitals. Wilson was skating on his own and trying to see if he was ready to dress but didn’t get to that point. Washington fell in six games.
Wilson underwent surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee on May 25. He was given a timeline of 6-8 months.
“It was kind of a weird, kind of freak thing. I went into the hit and tweaked my knee… I was doing everything I could to try to get back,” Wilson explained. “It was just one of those things where I wasn’t able to.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Breaking Down The Washington Capitals’ Blue Line Battle
General manager Brian MacLellan said in July that Wilson was making strides in his recovery and improving. The Capitals expect him to return at some point in December.
“He’s on schedule,” MacLellan said of No. 43. “He’s doing the therapy, he’s maybe even doing better than expected. But it’s still a December time frame, somewhere in there roughly.”
Wilson is coming off a career year with Washington, where he dished a career-high 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points in 78 regular-season games. He also earned a trip to the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. Not only that, but Wilson scored the series-opening goal against the Panthers.
The 6-4, 220-pound winger is an integral piece of the core. He was helping power the top line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. While he still brought the boom with his physical play, he was also a top producer. Wilson additionally helped on the penalty kill and power play.
Childhood rival and new acquisition Connor Brown will fill in for Wilson as he continues his rehab.
In addition to Wilson, the Capitals also saw Ivan Miroshnichenko take a major step forward and return to the ice. The 2022 first-rounder is looking to return this season and is in remission after a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis back in March.