Trotz: ‘Up in the air’ if Backstrom (hip) will be ready for opener

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Nicklas Backstrom is recovering from the arthroscopic hip surgery he underwent in May and while he should be able to skate during training camp, his overall timetable remains uncertain.

“Will he be ready for the start of the season? That part is up in the air right now,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said when asked about Backstrom’s availability on DC101’s Elliot In The Morning.

One of the concerns surrounding his recovery is his conditioning as Trotz noted that the 27-year-old forward will be limited in that regard over the summer, per CSN Washington. He consequently might be significantly behind his teammates in that regard come October even if he is otherwise healthy enough to play.

The Capitals initially projected that Backstrom would be “completely healthy prior to the start of the 2015-16 regular season.” However, Trotz’s update meshes with a report last month from Swedish news outlet Gefle Dagblad, which claimed that Backstrom could be sidelined for up to five months. The high end of that timetable would translate to a late October return.

He finished 2014-15 with 18 goals and 78 points in 82 contests. He hasn’t missed a game since the 2011-2012 campaign.