Caps’ Backstrom (hip) to miss preseason

After undergoing hip surgery in May, Capitals’ forward Nicklas Backstrom is expected to miss all seven of Washington’s preseason games.

“Backie is still the same,” coach Barry Trotz told The Washington Post. “He’s skating and if he keeps going, he’ll keep progressing and get cleared at some point to come to the main group. Once he comes to the main group, I think he’s a few weeks away. That won’t be for a little while. I don’t expect him to be playing in any of the exhibition games. I really don’t.”

At the time his surgery was announced, the Capitals were confident the 27-year-old would be ready for the start of the regular season.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was expected to start the season as the Caps’ second line center, could start the season playing on the club’s top line, if Backstrom isn’t ready for Washington’s regular season opener on Oct. 10.

“I’m going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing,” Backstrom said earlier this month. “I’m not going to play on 90 percent. We’ll see how it goes. We don’t know yet.”

Backstrom scored 18 goals and 78 points in 82 games last season.

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