The Washington Times - January 17, 2012, 12:06PM

An elbow to the head has kept Nicklas Backstrom off the ice for well over a week now, but Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee offered a somewhat optimistic report on his leading scorer.

“Nick’s doing really well,” McPhee said Tuesday. “He feels good. I’m, I guess, happy to report that he’s progressing.”

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Backstrom suffered an apparent concussion when Rene Bourque’s elbow hit him in the jaw in the third period of the Caps’ Jan. 3 game against the Calgary Flames.

“I just felt it in my whole head,” Backstrom said two days after the play that eventually forced him out of the game.

It seems likely that Backstrom will be out through at least the All-Star break given that he hasn’t skated since Jan. 6 in San Jose, but McPhee was not ready to make that pronouncement.

“Not necessarily. Whenever he’s ready to get going, we’ll get him going,” the GM said. “But obviously we’re going to be real careful because we want this to be a one time thing and something we never have to worry about again.”