- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2015

Nicklas Backstrom said Friday that he may miss the Washington Capitals’ season opener on Oct. 10 as he continues to recover from surgery on his left hip.

Backstrom, who underwent an arthroscopic procedure on May 28, began skating at the Capitals’ complex on Sept. 3. He said he won’t know he’s fully healthy until the strength returns in his left leg and he’s been able to skate consecutive days without soreness.

“You never know,” Backstrom said. “I mean, it could be opening night. Could miss five games; could miss 10 games. I don’t know. It’s all about how I’m doing, I think, and I guess the only one who can answer that is me, but I don’t know myself yet.”

The top-line center began feeling discomfort in the hip midway through last season, and once the Capitals were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals and he learned the procedure would likely require a four-month recovery, he decided to have the injury addressed.

Backstrom played in every game last season for the sixth time in his career and led the league with 60 assists.

He did not join his teammates for on-ice workouts on Friday, the first day of training camp, but instead skated with defenseman Brooks Orpik, who is recovering from surgery on his left wrist, prior to the first session.

“We will see how it progresses the next couple weeks,” Backstrom said. “I hope to be ready, but you never know.”

• Zac Boyer can be reached at zboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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