The next stage in Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson’s recovery from a broken left fibula will occur in Hershey.
Wilson, who was initially scheduled to make his return during the Capitals’ three-game Western Canada road trip this week, was instead re-assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate on Monday afternoon.
Such a move allows the 20-year-old to work his way back into game shape with the Bears, who play three games in three days this weekend — two at home and one at Lehigh Valley, located 90 minutes away.
It also suggests that Wilson may not be ready to play until later in the weekend — at which point it would be fruitless for the Capitals to take him to Edmonton, where they play Wednesday, before consecutive games in Calgary and Vancouver on Saturday and Sunday.
Coach Barry Trotz said Monday, after the Capitals completed a 90-minute practice yet before the announcement was made, that he would have a discussion with Wilson regarding the team’s plans for the coming week.
“I’ve got to do what’s right for the player over the long haul, and that’s talking with the player, the trainer and myself, and we’ll come up with a plan very shortly here,” Trotz said.
Wilson broke the bone in July, and has only described the injury as the result of an accident at a friend’s house. He was cleared to skate in early September and has been wearing a light blue non-contact jersey during Capitals practice in recent weeks.
“I can do whatever,” Wilson said. “I’ve been cleared to practice full-out and battling and I’m not staying out of any drills anymore. It’s definitely coming around, and the next step’s game play, for sure.”
A first-round draft pick by the Capitals in 2012, Wilson played in all 82 games last season, when he had three goals and seven assists and recorded 151 penalty minutes while playing almost exclusively on the fourth line.
He last played in Hershey in 2013, when he joined the Bears for three playoff games during their eventual loss in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.