- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Washington Capitals are going to be without hard-hitting forward Tom Wilson for at least the start of the 2022-23 season.

Wilson, who was injured in Game 1 of the Capitals’ first-round playoff series versus the Florida Panthers, underwent surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL, the team announced Wednesday afternoon. The team said his surgery was “successful” and that he is expected to be out six to eight months. 

Wilson scored the first goal of the series just a few minutes into the Capitals’ Game 1 victory. But he sustained the injury to his left knee later that period and never returned in the series, which the Capitals lost 4-2. 

This past season was arguably Wilson’s best as a professional. In his age-27 campaign, Wilson set career highs with 24 goals and 28 assists — while still dishing out 240 hits — in 78 regular-season games. 

Wilson said shortly after Washington’s season ended that his injury was “pretty significant” and that the way he sustained it was a “weird, kind of freak thing.” 

“My summer sucks now,” Wilson said on May 15. “I’m the kind of guy, to have the uncertainty was tough. I was trying to get back and trying everything I could. Every person you walk by, every fan, every person was like, ‘When are you back? We need you back.’ That was tough. I wanted to be out there. So, you feel like you let people down and that sucks. But I just try to play as hard as I can and that stuff happens. It sucks. At this time of year, you’re driving in, you see all the fans, that’s why I play. Those are the games. You try to play for your city and take pride in that, so that sucked. 

“To have a little bit of clarity now is good. It’s going to be a grind for me. I’ve got to start my recovery. As an athlete it’s always nice to have goals and a clear mindset of what you need to do and we’re getting there with the doctors and stuff and we’ll go from there.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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