The Washington Capitals could be without their No. 1 center to start next season.
Per a report from Swedish news outlet Gefle Dagblad, Niklas Backstrom could miss up to the next five months of action recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery, a procedure he underwent in late May.
Per a (admittedly rough) translation, Backstrom said the hip had been giving him issues since early last season, and that he’s been told recovery can last up to five months. That would be at odds with what the Capitals said following surgery:
“Based on the nature of this procedure we are confident that Nick will be completely healthy prior to the start of the 2015-16 regular season.”
As for where he’s currently at, Backstrom said he’s primarily working on getting movement back in the hip.
Should rehab go five months, Backstrom would be on target for a late-October return. Though the Caps’ 2014-15 schedule has yet to be released, NHL usually begins play the first week of October and clubs often play around 10 games in the opening month.
Last year, the Caps played nine.