Nicklas Backstrom Continues Progress Towards Return, Tom Wilson Still Out With Upper-Body Injury

Center Nicklas Backstrom took another step forward in his recovery from a hip injury that has kept him out for the Washington Capitals’ first 28 games of the season, as he joined line rushes once again in between left-wing Conor Sheary and right-wing T.J. Oshie during the team’s practice Tuesday.

Head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that the 34-year-old will travel with the Capitals and participate in Wednesday’s morning skate before deciding whether he will make his 2021-22 season debut against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).

Backstrom also skated with the team’s first power-play unit, another indication that he could very well return in Chicago.

Right-wing Tom Wilson did not participate in Tuesday’s practice and remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The 27-year-old skated on his own prior to practice but is still being evaluated and it has yet to be determined whether he will travel on the team’s two-game road-trip.

Right-wing Garnet Hathaway (COVID-19 protocol) also did not practice and will not travel on the Capitals’ trip.

Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk and center Nic Dowd participated in line rushes in their usual spots, hinting that they could return to the lineup against the Blackhawks after each missed four games due to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. However, neither will be allowed to play against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday due to Canada’s COVID-19 travel regulations.

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By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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