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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 03/21/2012

Dale Hunter hints Nicklas Backstrom may take part in practice next week

Each day Nicklas Backstrom skates offers encouragement to the Capitals. The latest was a 35-minute workout Wednesday morning with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish that marked the eighth day out of the past nine that Backstrom has skated.

While there is no timeline for when Backstrom might be ready to return to game action, Coach Dale Hunter hinted that the Swedish center could take part in a team practice next week.

“He’s going to do more and more,” Hunter said when asked if there was a target date for Backstrom to practice with his teammates. “You’ll see, next week he’s going to do more.”

The recovery process from a concussion is slow going, but it’s been a boost to the Capitals’ spirits just to see Backstrom back on the ice, Hunter said.

“It’s good to see him around. We all know he’s a special guy, special player. You always like to see him come back, he’s skating. He feels good about himself,” Hunter said. “Worst thing you can do to a player is don’t put him on the ice; it’s tough. He’s back skating, he’s feeling better and it’s good for the Washington Capitals and for Nicky.”

More on the Capitals:
Backstrom takes scheduled day off
Win over Detroit a reminder of what Caps can do

By  |  12:40 PM ET, 03/21/2012

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