Backstrom (hip) hopes to be ready for Caps’ opener

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After undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery in late May, Washington forward Niklas Backstrom says he’s targeting a return in time for the club’s season-opener on Oct. 10 versus New Jersey.

“I hope, of course, to be ready to start the season,” Backstrom said this week in an interview with Swedish radio station Sverigesradio.

In mid-June, a report from Swedish news outlet Gefle Dagblad suggested Backstrom would miss up to five months recovering from surgery, a procedure he required after playing most of the season in pain.

A five-month recovery period would, of course, 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.”

Should rehab go five months, Backstrom would be on target for a late-October return, and could miss as many as 10 games. Washington opens the season with a four-game homestand, then goes on the road for a three-game Western swing through Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton before closing out October with dates against the Penguins, Blue Jackets and Panthers.

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