Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson are close to returning

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s been some good news surrounding the Washington Capitals lately. Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom have ditched the no contact jerseys and are full go at practice. While they didn’t travel with the team to Columbus for tonight’s tilt, their interviews yesterday seemed encouraging.

Peter Laviolette gave the following update after Wednesday’s practice:

"“They’re close [to returning], and they’re close together. They’re out here and they’re working hard every day. They’re not coming with us on this road trip, but again they’re close, and I don’t think they’re far off of each other.”"

Wilson said this about Backstrom’s injury recovery:

"“Day-to-day, he’s much happier. You never want to see a guy going through pain. … Now he’s happier, he’s loving the game again, and he’s a hockey player. That’s what he knows. That’s why he’s worked so hard to get back. He loves the game, and it’s been cool to see that again.”"

Wilson got hurt in Game 1 of the Caps first round playoff series against the Florida Panthers. After he got surgery he was slated to miss six to eight months.

When Wilson talked to the media he said he could’ve came back. month ago but the Caps trainers and doctors didn’t want to rush him. It was the right call. Wilson is not your average physical player. He’s your above average physical goal scorer.

Wilson said:

"“The last couple weeks I’ve felt myself, so it’s just a matter of time. I’m starting to feel a lot better and not worrying about it and not thinking about it as much. So it’s good, and it’s kind of the last step of the process, just getting back to feeling like yourself and not worrying about the rehab process or anything like that and just playing hockey.”"

Backstrom missed much of last season with a hip injury and decided to undergo the surgery over the summer. Not many players, if any, were able to come back from it but Backstrom hopes to change that.

Hot. Devante Smith Pelly hangs up his skates. light

The Caps next couple games include the Nashville Predators tomorrow night, Columbus again on Sunday. Then they go to Philadelphia on Wednesday. It could be one of those dates that one of or both players could be back.