Tom Wilson remained hopeful Thursday that he will be medically cleared following a concussion to play in Game 2 of the Washington Capitals’ first-round playoff series against the New York Islanders.
Wilson confirmed for the first time that he sustained a concussion when he was hit in the back of the head with a puck in the Capitals’ victory over the Detroit Red Wings on April 5. He said he hasn’t experienced any new symptoms related to the concussion and maintained that his biggest challenge is getting his conditioning back to an acceptable standard.
“You definitely have to go through a whole bunch of tests, and you have to pass [them all],” Wilson said. “There’s a whole bunch of people watching you — especially with concussions these days, obviously. I met with a guy yesterday who was responsible for the baseline testing and stuff like that. I mean, his job is concussions. That’s all he does these days. It’s such an important issue.
“[I had to] meet with him and make sure everything’s good and get a passing grade on all the games and the concussion stuff that you do online. Once you feel good and you pass that stuff [you can play] — or if you don’t pass it, then you keep working on it until you feel ready to go. Everything’s been encouraging. It’s been uphill, and hopefully, I’ll be ready to go soon.”
Coach Barry Trotz has remained tight-lipped about Wilson’s status and said Thursday that the right wing is “very close” to returning. He wouldn’t say whether Wilson could be ready to play in Game 2 of the playoff series on Friday, but acknowledged that having him in the lineup could add another dimension to the Capitals, especially with regards to their forecheck.
“He has a big effect on a game,” Trotz said. “He’s a good player. He brings physicality, and he’s a big body. I didn’t think we played big last night.”
• Zac Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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