Responding to a Swedish newspaper report cited by the Washington Post, the Capitals have denied that injured center Nicklas Backstrom returned to his native Sweden to see a concussion specialist.
Backstrom, 24, has been out of the Caps lineup since Jan. 3 after being elbowed in the head by then-Calgary forward Rene Bourque. Backstrom’s missed the last 27 games as a result and now, according to a Google-translated version of Swedish newspaper Expressen, he’s currently in his homeland seeking treatment.
While the Caps haven’t commented on the Expressen report, they have confirmed Backstrom’s currently in Sweden — but to spend time with his family, not seek medical advice. (The Caps had a similar situation last year when they allowed concussed defenseman Mike Green to leave the team.)
More, from The Post:
Last month when he met with reporters in Washington, Backstrom said it has been tough for him to come to the practice facility regularly yet not have any indication of when he might skate or play again.
Backstrom has been in Sweden for a little more than a week already and is not expected to return until Sunday.
Last season, when Mike Green was sidelined with a concussion, he too was given the opportunity to get away from the daily hockey grind and return home.
The Caps have struggled mightily since losing Backstrom, who was their leading scorer. They’ve gone 11-13-3 without him in the lineup, falling to ninth place in the Eastern Conference.