ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that Tom Wilson has undergone successful surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL in his left knee.
Wilson’s expected recovery timeline is 6-8 months. He is not expected to be ready in time for training camp and will miss significant time to open the 2022-23 campaign.
The 28-year-old suffered the torn ACL early in the first period of Game 1 in the first-round series against the Florida Panthers. Wilson said as he was going in for a hit on MacKenzie Weegar, he tried to slow down and pivot. He turned to get on his left leg and felt his knee tweak. That marked his final shift of the season, as he exited the game early and would not return after skating just 1:31 minutes and scoring the series-opening goal on the power play.
“It was kind of a weird, kind of freak thing… it just kind of sucked that it happened at this time,” Wilson said on breakdown day. “I was pretty good all season. And then kind of a freak thing. Your guess is as good as mine… I tried it out and it was no good.”
Despite the injury, Wilson skated twice and was “trying everything” to return to the lineup and try to help the team and had been listed as day-to-day. However, he was unable to get back into the lineup as the Capitals suffered their fourth consecutive first-round exit.
“We have a great training staff, good doctors and it was one of those things where I was trying to be the unique situation or the odd person that can do it,” Wilson said. “You get a brace and you get out there, and there’s a chance. So I was trying everything I could. I just wasn’t able to do it.”
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Wilson is coming off a career year in which he dished a career-high 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points through 78 games. His performance earned him Olympic consideration, as well as a trip to the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend. He broke the record for the fastest goal in ASG history this season as well.
At breakdown day, Wilson didn’t know if he would definitely undergo surgery in the offseason but knew the road to recovery would be difficult. Still, No. 43 is ready for the challenge.
“In more ways than one, my summer sucks now. I’m the kind of guy, to have the uncertainty was tough… it’s going to be a grind for me,” Wilson said, adding, “As an athlete, it’s always nice to have goals and a clear mindset of what you need to do. We’re getting there with the doctors and we’ll go from there.”