Backstrom has “what you say — bruised neck”

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If the NHL lockout ends soon, the Washington Capitals may have to start the season without one of their top players.

Nicklas Backstrom, who’s spending the lockout with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL, suffered a neck injury on Dec. 26 when he was hit from behind in a game against Slovan Bratislava.

Backstrom’s Swedish agent, Gunnar Svensson, sent an email to the blog, Russian Machine Never Break, expanding on his client’s health issues.

“Nicklas has what you say — bruised neck,” Svensson said. “Hard to say about the recovery time. Day to day, maybe week to week.”

Backstrom has 25 points in 19 games for Dynamo Moscow. His Caps teammate Alex Ovechkin leads the club with 38 points in 30 games.